The US Air Force's (USAF) active-duty and reserve maintainers at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas will together improve the maintenance on KC-135 Stratotankers.
Under the Dedicated Crew Chief (DCC) programme, aircraft maintenance personnel from 22nd and 931st Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons (AMXS) will take responsibility for any maintenance issues associated with the military aerial refuelling aircraft.
A total of 25 KC-135s will be maintained by 60 DCCs and assistant DCCs.
Of all the tankers, 17 were assigned to active-duty teams and the remaining eight were assigned to air reserve technicians.
22nd AMXS commander lieutenant c olonel Duane Richardson said: "The DCC programme is intended to instill pride in ownership and increase the quality and availability of our aircraft.
"The programme focuses a lot on the little things.
"The DCC is charged to take care of those little maintenance issues before they become one big issue that takes the jet down for a while."
Designed specifically for aerial refuelling, the Boeing-built KC-135 replaced the propeller-powered KC-97 tankers.
Used in the Vietnam War and later conflicts such as Operation Desert Storm to extend the range and endurance of US tactical fighters and bombers, KC-135 will eventually be replaced by KC-46 Pegasus.
Currently, four of the eight military aerial refuelling aircraft operated by 507th Air Refuelling Wing are being upgraded as part of a $910m modification programme.
The KC-135 Stratotanker Block 45 upgrade, which is the third series of major modifications, is designed to extend the tankers service life to 2030.
Image: The 22nd AMXS and the 931st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron held a DCC induction ceremony where 58 DCCs and assistant DCCs were assigned to 25 KC-135 Stratotankers. Photo: courtesy of USAF.