Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska-
On December 26, 2021, inland Alaska suffered the third highest rainfall and winter anomalies on record. As soon as the temperature returned to negative, at least two inches of ice covered the base’s runway, significantly hindering flight operations.
Base snowplows and equipment have proven ineffective against the remaining thick layers of ice. Eielson Engineers brainstorm and the easiest way to break ice is to dive under the ice. They approached Iceman Spark with this idea in mind.
Eielson’s Iceman Spark team is working with the 354th Logistics Preparation Squadron, the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron, and the 354th Conservation Squadron to prototype a solution that will timely restore the mission readiness of the 354th Fighter Wing. created.
“As Iceman Spark, we have identified the most influential and viable things that can be done in a short period of time, so we teamed up. [our Wing’s] The explosives disposal team will see if the explosives can be used to break the ice. It was a risk to help determine a potential solution, “said US Air Force Sergeant. Philip Barry, Innovation Director of the 354th Fighter Wing. “It was a failure. I pierced the ice, but nothing really cracked. After confirming that the tested experiment failed, LRS, CES, and MXS were aggressive behind the scenes. We have found that it is working and we will find innovative solutions through collaboration. “
Iceman Spark has worked with the 354th MXS, LRS and CES to connect the equipment and materials needed to generate this innovation. A very unique technology for manufacturing flight. Sgt. Brain Kolk, a non-commissioned officer of aircraft metal technology, stood up on this occasion and was able to design FIBA in just 18 hours.
“FIBA is a plow-like attachment for a 10K forklift or a bucket loader for snowburn designed to strip ice from the surface of concrete or asphalt,” Cork said.
This idea was inspired by the proven concept of the innovative 354th LRS Airmen, which uses a 10K forklift to carry aircraft pallets.
They supported the collaboration by providing FIBA-equipped forklifts to Snowburn, staff sergeant said. Jonathan Nokes, 354LRS Land Transport Operations Center NCOIC.
Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wiltse, a non-commissioned officer of the 354th Civil Squadron’s pavement and construction machinery, said FIBA has enhanced Snowburn’s ability to remove ice.
“FIBA is great for us because there are plows with an underbody that can’t put the direct down pressure needed to break the ice,” Wilze said. “FIBA allows us to get under the ice and lift it into chunks of down pressure to get it out of the way more effectively and quickly.”
An indicator of the success of this innovation was the operational flight line, but another striking by-product was the demonstration of multi-unit teamwork.
“It’s really amazing that the Air Force members of the various Air Force Special Codes have worked together to further connect joint thinking and design, leading them to solutions that they can own and develop locally,” Barry said. Says.
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