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Managing COVID-19: Ogden ALC's 309th Commodities Maintenance Group continues to thrive

  • Published
  • By Donovan Potter
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The 309th Commodities Maintenance Group, part of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base, is not letting up during the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to supporting the warfighter.

The 309th CMXG is the technical repair center for landing gear, wheels, brakes, secondary power systems, hydraulics, pneudraulics, and composites, supporting everything from fifth-generation fighters, the nuclear triad’s B-2 bombers, and 20 and 30 mm guns for military aircraft to just to name a few.

“Our products touch every single Air Force weapons platform and some Navy systems, said Shane Olsen, 309th CMXG deputy director. “We produce thousands of different end items. If it can fit in a box, we build it. Additionally, we’re the single source for landing gear repair in the entire Air Force.”

Due to COVID-19, about 20 percent of the CMXG force is currently teleworking in essential support functions like planning, contracting, course ware development, material purchases, budget and data analysis roles.

Those continuing to work on base have staggered start, break and lunch times. The group has also expanded its second shift in order to maximize social distancing. In addition, some members in the group have volunteered to cross train into different specialties, allowing the group to focus on delivering high-priority products such as flight controls, wings, hydraulic flight actuators, landing gear and gas turbine engines back to the warfighter on time.

That’s why it’s so important to stick to the “master production schedule” as the group maintains, repairs, manufactures and modifies these and others products including armament, power systems, secondary power units, and fuel accessories and controls. The 309th CMXG also does structural sheet metal, aircraft canopies, flight controls and heavy machining work.

Olsen said one of the group’s beneficial, but least known workloads, is its ability to locally manufacture parts when the supply system doesn’t have the part or can’t deliver it fast enough to meet mission requirements.

Olsen said this has saved countless aircraft deliveries over the years.

“In the 533rd Commodities Maintenance Squadron, we have a group of talented engineers and technicians who don’t just repair aircraft components, they build them,” he said.

Some most recent examples of locally manufactured parts are A-10 elevators, beaded panels, F-16 shelf brackets and bulkheads.

“We design, build, prototype and manufacture thousands of critical components annually, that can’t be found anywhere else in the world,” Olsen said. “We’ve gotten so efficient at local manufacturing that both the Defense Logistics Agency and the Air Force supply chain are often coming to us as the source of supply.”

Olsen added that the 309th CMXG’s “selfless, resilient group of 1,800 patriots” have always done whatever it takes to support the warfighter, even during this pandemic.

“Just this week, some of our rock-star employees who were asked to stay home for being high risk of contracting COVID-19, asked us if they could come back to work and help with the mission and urgent tasks at hand. That says a lot about who we are,” he said.