By Joseph Mather, Robins Public Affairs
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – The 802nd Maintenance Support Squadron’s Chemical Analysis Flight with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, puts the sustainment mission processes to the test.
The flight conducts a wide range of chemical analyses, physical tests and quality assurance tests for a variety of customers such as Robins mission partner and other installation.
“Our flight is composed of three sections,” said Dr. Max Hetzer, 802nd Maintenance Support Squadron Chemical Laboratory chief. The Chemical Laboratory, that’s us, First Article Testing and Failure Analysis and Material Analysis Laboratories.”
Hetzer said, the three laboratories have a huge amount of experience and testing material to support the installation.
“We are here to support the WR-ALC depot maintenance processes and Robins Air Force Base,” said Hetzer. “The chemical laboratory’s mission is to provide accurate, precise, quality results to customers on time and on budget.”
The flight tests chemicals used to support the sustainment mission.
“We perform analyses for the 402nd Commodities Maintenance Group’s advanced metal finishing facility by testing the chemicals in all their metal plating tanks,” said Hetzer. “We test all of the chemicals in the tanks to make sure they have the proper concentration. This proper chemical concentration using is paramount to their success.”
Parts manufactured by CMXG get dipped into the tanks, then later will be put on aircraft.
“We test the chemical composition concentration in the tanks so their process is optimized,” said Hetzer.
The flight also conducts tests on aircraft oils.
“We perform Joint Oil Program testing for all the aircraft in the DOD,” said Hetzer. “We test engine oil for F-15 aircraft after each flight to make sure the aircraft engine oil is clean and there are no indicators of breakdown to an engine.”
WR-ALC break rooms are tested for contaminants too.
“We perform swipe testing, which is housekeeping quality checks in support of the WR-ALC Safety Office,” said Hetzer. “We go out to each of the buildings on base used by the WR-ALC depot operations and swipe break rooms and the working areas to see what the surface contamination looks like and whether or not their housekeeping programs are effective.”
According to Hetzer, each quarter everyone gets a report that shows where they are and what the Occupational Safety Health Administration regulatory limits are, and where they stand in that report.
The flight also provides installation support.
“We also perform drinking water testing for the whole base, providing biological testing of the drinking water,” said Hetzer. “Every week the 78th Bioenvironmental Squadron brings us samples from each well located on Robins Air Force Base, and we test it to see if there is in any biological contamination present.”
The support to the installation does not stop with its water supply.
“We are standing up hazardous waste testing in support of the 78th Civil Engineer Group,” said Hetzer.
“Currently 78th CEG is sending out all their hazardous waste tests to a contractor site, and they do the test for them and send back the results,” he added. “We can do these tests faster and cheaper for the 78 CEG and provide better service than the contractor can do because we are not bound by the contract limitation.”
Other bases in Georgia benefit from the flight’s capability.
“We support Dobbins Air Reserve Base with JOLP tests,” said Hetzer. “And, we also support Moody Air Force Base’s Fire Department and our fire department for their breathing air quality tests.”
Hetzer said he has the utmost confidence in his team’s ability to provide quality results.
“We have a lot of capability, we have a lot of knowledge,” he said. “We have over 100 years of technical expertise in the lab alone and we have state-of-the-art equipment, and we can test pretty much anything provided we have the time to stand up the process.”
Hetzer summed up his teams work in one word – pride.
“You know the job is done well, done right and we know we did our part to ensure they can go fly and do their mission, he said.
“You look at that aircraft and say yeah, they are going to go home to do what they are supposed do, to help people on the ground do what they are supposed to do.”.