AFREP technicians save time, money

Staff Sgt. Kyle Eilefson, an Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, solders resistors on a circuit board at Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2016. The circuit board is part of the power supply for the approach lighting system on the Hurlburt Field runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett)

Staff Sgt. Kyle Eilefson, an Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, solders resistors on a circuit board at Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2016. The circuit board is part of the power supply for the approach lighting system on the Hurlburt Field runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett)

Tech. Sgt. Justin Flinner, an Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, troubleshoots a circuit card utilizing a test station. The station allows for each individual component to be tested for defects. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett)

Tech. Sgt. Justin Flinner, an Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, troubleshoots a circuit card utilizing a test station. The station allows for each individual component to be tested for defects. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett)

Staff Sgt. Kyle Eilefson, an Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, solders resistors on a circuit board at Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2016. The circuit board is part of the power supply for the approach lighting system on the Hurlburt Field runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett)

Staff Sgt. Kyle Eilefson, an Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, solders resistors on a circuit board at Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2016. The circuit board is part of the power supply for the approach lighting system on the Hurlburt Field runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett)

Staff Sgt. Kyle Eilefson, an Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, solders resistors on a circuit board at Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2016. The circuit board is part of the power supply for the approach lighting system on the Hurlburt Field runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett)

Staff Sgt. Kyle Eilefson, an Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, solders resistors on a circuit board at Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2016. The circuit board is part of the power supply for the approach lighting system on the Hurlburt Field runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Made up of four non-commissioned officers from different career fields within aircraft maintenance units, Hurlburt’s Air Force Repair Enhancement Program works to save the Air Force money.

With different maintenance backgrounds, the NCOs come together to form a shop that is viewed as the last stop for repairing items deemed unfixable by others.

“Our goal is to make every dollar count,” said Tech. Sgt. Justin Flinner, an AFREP technician with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron.

In order for this program to save the Air Force money, stringent qualifications must be met.

The AFREP technicians are required to meet certain criteria for selection. Candidates must not have any physical training failures or mark downs on any of their enlisted performance reports. They must also impress current AFREP technicians as they are the ones who choose their replacements.

After meeting the requirements and being selected, candidates attend a seven-week special certification course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

During the certification course, the technicians become qualified in micro and miniature-micro soldering repair. They are also trained to troubleshoot circuit cards.

The AFREP NCOs’ focus during this three-year duty is improving the repair process and acting as the base equipment repair specialist.

Those selected for AFREP have the ability to make an impact right away, as they are able to save Hurlburt Field time and money when it comes to putting equipment back in the fight.

So far, in fiscal year 2016, AFREP has saved Hurlburt Field approximately $1.2 million by repairing parts and returning them back to the squadrons, AFREP enables money to be put to other uses.

Although aircraft maintenance units are the primary AFREP customers, other shops benefit from this money-saving program.

Recently, the Hurlburt Field Range Support Flight utilized AFREP to fix threat emitters.

“We called them and explained what we needed fixed,” said Jeffrey Morrision, opposing forces supervisor with the 1st Special Operations Support Squadron. “Otherwise, we would have had to find a company qualified to repair them, get a quote, and then, hopefully, acquire the funds needed for the repair.”

Staff Sgt. Kyle Eilefson, an AFREP technician with the 1st SOMXS, said repairing three out of four threat emitters used for opposing forces training was one of their more challenging projects.

“All three of the emitters had a different problem,” Eilefson said. “Brand new threat emitters would have cost $5 million if we weren’t able to repair them.”

AFREP saved the Range Support Flight several months of waiting for the emitters and man hours in researching the costs of new emitters and what it would take to fund them.

“We are here to improve the repair process while saving the Air Force money,” said Flinner. “We enjoy helping our fellow Air Commandos as we all continue to manage our resources the best we can to sustain our combat-ready forces.”

If squadrons have items that need to be fixed, contact AFREP at 884-3802 to see what assistance can be offered.