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Reserve Centralized Repair Facility provides strategic depth

A newly upgraded T-56 Rolls Royce 3.5 modified engine is tested at various speeds and monitored by  Contract Field Team member, Barry Wertz,  to ensure the engine and propeller meets performance specifications on Jan. 4, 2021, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., before delivery to an Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard C-130H Hercules squadron. Contract Field Team members at the test cell facility ensure each engine is serviceable, troubleshoots any issues, and performs additional inspections. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

A newly upgraded T-56 Rolls Royce 3.5 modified engine is tested at various speeds and monitored by Contract Field Team member, Barry Wertz, to ensure the engine and propeller meets performance specifications on Jan. 4, 2021, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., before delivery to an Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard C-130H Hercules squadron. Contract Field Team members at the test cell facility ensure each engine is serviceable, troubleshoots any issues, and performs additional inspections. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Todd Jobst, Contract Field Team member, inspects the air intake of a newly upgraded T-56 Rolls Royce 3.5 modified engine on Jan. 4, 2021, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. An operational check out of all engine and propeller systems are performed, to ensure the systems meet performance specifications before delivery to an Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard C-130H Hercules squadron. Contracted mechanics at the engine test cell facility ensure each engine is serviceable, troubleshoots any issues, and performs additional inspections. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Todd Jobst, Contract Field Team member, inspects the air intake of a newly upgraded T-56 Rolls Royce 3.5 modified engine on Jan. 4, 2021, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. An operational check out of all engine and propeller systems are performed, to ensure the systems meet performance specifications before delivery to an Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard C-130H Hercules squadron. Contracted mechanics at the engine test cell facility ensure each engine is serviceable, troubleshoots any issues, and performs additional inspections. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Contract Field Team member, Jon Hart, cleans and inspects an engine reduction gear box, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules 3.5 engine modifications and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command  and many Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Contract Field Team member, Jon Hart, cleans and inspects an engine reduction gear box, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules 3.5 engine modifications and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and many Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Dave Embler, Contract Field Team member, assembles and tests the wiring harness for a refurbished Quick Engine Change kit QEC on a wiring board prior to installation, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules 3.5 engine modifications and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Dave Embler, Contract Field Team member, assembles and tests the wiring harness for a refurbished Quick Engine Change kit QEC on a wiring board prior to installation, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules 3.5 engine modifications and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Contract Field Team member, Jack Mason, assembles a refurbished T-56 engine on an engine stand prior to final testing and inspection, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules T-56 3.5 modified engine and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Contract Field Team member, Jack Mason, assembles a refurbished T-56 engine on an engine stand prior to final testing and inspection, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules T-56 3.5 modified engine and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Tom Spuhler, a Contract Field Team member, inspects and cleans a propeller blade prior to assembly on, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules T-56 3.5 modified engine and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. Since 2015, 395 C-130H four bladed props received intensive maintenance. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Tom Spuhler, a Contract Field Team member, inspects and cleans a propeller blade prior to assembly on, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules T-56 3.5 modified engine and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. Since 2015, 395 C-130H four bladed props received intensive maintenance. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Stan Gonyea, a Contract Field Team member, inspects the lower portion of the engine, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules T-56 3.5 modified engine and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. After streamlining the repair process in 2001 to mimic an assembly line, the facility averages 12-16 days, or 2 days per each section to completely overhaul one engine. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Stan Gonyea, a Contract Field Team member, inspects the lower portion of the engine, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules T-56 3.5 modified engine and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. After streamlining the repair process in 2001 to mimic an assembly line, the facility averages 12-16 days, or 2 days per each section to completely overhaul one engine. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Tom Schilling, a Contract Field Team member, gathers the proper tools to complete the assembly of a refurbished engine, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules T-56 3.5 modified engine and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. The average overhaul cost for a T-56 engine here is approximately $800,000 as compared to $1.5 million per engine from the commercial repair facility. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

Tom Schilling, a Contract Field Team member, gathers the proper tools to complete the assembly of a refurbished engine, Dec. 29, 2020, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The facility produces all C-130H Hercules T-56 3.5 modified engine and 54H60-117 propeller overhauls for Air Force Reserve Command and various Air National Guard units. The average overhaul cost for a T-56 engine here is approximately $800,000 as compared to $1.5 million per engine from the commercial repair facility. (U.S. Air Force Reserve photo by Maj. Ashley Walker)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

A small maintenance operation, Air Force Reserve Command T-56-15A engine Centralized Repair Facility, supported by the 913th Airlift Group sustains agile combat support by upgrading the C-130H Hercules engines and returning combat airlift to the Air Force fleet.

Since AFRC acquired the T-56 CRF maintenance contract in 2015, more than 190 C130H engines were upgraded with the 3.5 modifications which provide significant improvements in fuel economy and performance.  In addition, 395 of C-130H four bladed props also received intensive maintenance. Each engine completes a thorough performance check at the T-56 test cell prior to delivery. The upgrades to the C-130 fleet at such a low cost will help ensure longevity across the tactical airlift fleet. 

“I’m incredibly proud of the hard work our contractors perform here on a daily basis and much of it goes unseen,” said Tim Taylor, contracting officer representative. “Many personnel have more than 20 years of active duty military maintenance experience and their efforts directly sustain the mobility force.”

The CRF team epitomizes cost-effectiveness as the average overhaul cost for a T-56 engine here is approximately $800,000 as compared to $1.5 million per engine from the commercial repair facility. After streamlining the repair process in 2001 to mimic an assembly line, the facility averages 12-16 days, or 2 days per each section to completely overhaul one engine.

The AFRC and ANG still operate a multitude of C-130Hs while the active duty component has transitioning the tactical airlift weapon system to the C-130J Super Hercules model. This latest version of the airframe performs the same diverse roles such as airlift, aeromedical, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray, humanitarian assistance and more. Though the airframes are similar, the cutting edge technology makes J model perform in a different manner and the parts are incompatible.

“The C-130 is the work horse of the Air Force and we are doing our part to provide long-term operational sustainment,” said Terence Hall, quality manager. “We have nearly 700 more engines to modify across the force and we are the only facility performing this modification. Not only do we service the engines, props, but also reviving associated aircraft ground equipment and creating quick engine change kits.”

The eight government employees manage the T-56 CRF contract worth more than $4.4 million per year while supervising 67 contractors.