Saber units get the point: 52nd Maintenance Group

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The 52nd Fighter Wing has more than 30 units on and off base, working day-in and day-out to fulfill the mission of defending American and allied interests and building partner capacities.

Throughout the year, 52nd FW Public Affairs will highlight each of the wing's units as together they serve a critical role in fulfilling this mission.

The inaugural unit under this new series is the 52nd Maintenance Group.

The mission of the 52nd MXG is to "provide safe, reliable maintenance management on a fleet of Block 50 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, as well as all the support equipment, engines and munitions resources with a trained, professional and dedicated workforce," said U.S. Air Force Col. James Humes, 52nd MXG commander from Whitesboro, Texas.

Currently three squadrons fall under the 52nd MXG: the 52nd Aircraft maintenance Squadron, the 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron and the 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron.

There are more than 35 Air Force Specialty Codes serving in these maintenance squadrons that service the base's fighter jets.

"If jets are in the air, it's maintenance that put them there," Humes said. "Proper maintenance upkeep, tracking component time changes and inspections, performing modifications and formulating a detailed execution plan in a complex and ever-changing environment is the key to operating combat aircraft safely and efficiently."

When asked about the relevance of his group's work, Humes underscored what the mission would be like without maintainers at all.

"The jets would be paper weights," he said. "Ninety percent of the work that goes into generating combat sorties is right here in the maintenance group."

Chief Master Sgt. Chad Ward, 52nd Maintenance Group Superintendent from Beaver Dam, Ky., echoed Humes' sentiments about the role maintenance Airmen play.

"I think everybody in the 52nd MXG comes into work every day to give 100 percent," Ward said. "And I expect them to be professional 100 percent on and off duty. That's what we are as Airmen, we are professionals."

Humes added that the mission of the 52nd MXG--like all of Saber Nation--is not done alone, and that it takes all the units working together to get the job done.

"It takes an entire team to do this -- every member within the squadrons and group has a vital role in ensuring everything gets accomplished and no detail is missed," Humes said. "The individual contributions of our people form together to make the strong links in the chain to ensure we are ready to provide combat airpower to protect American and Allied interests -- anytime, anywhere."