U.S. Air Force preps F-16 ejection seats for reuse at Letterkenny Munitions Center

A U.S. Air Force Egress team made up of members of the 56th Component and Maintenance Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, and 49th Component Squadron, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico prepared approximately 25 Advanced Concept Ejection Seats for USAF reutilization while at Letterkenny Munitions Center. Pictured left to right: Staff Sergeant Benjamin Roberds, 49th CMS, Senior Airman Raboni Ferrer, 49th CMS, Senior Airman Cody Vanoosten, 56th CMS, and Staff Sergeant Brian Leach, 56th CMS.
April 18, 2019

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Recently, a dedicated team of four active duty U.S. Air Force Egress System Technicians spent two weeks at Letterkenny Munitions Center removing explosive assets from production aircraft Advance Concept Ejection Seats II.

The egress team’s work on the ejection seats supports Department of Defense strategic readiness by positioning replacement ejection seats and components into stock for future U.S. Air Force requirements.

This joint effort was coordinated by Air Force Security Assistance Center F-16 Foreign Military Sales, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, the Agile Combat Support Directorate Human Systems Sustainment System Program Office, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

Staff Sergeant Brian Leach and Senior Airman Cody Vanoosten, 49th Component and Maintenance Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, teamed with Staff Sergeant Benjamin Roberds and Senior Airman Raboni Ferrer, 56th CMS, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, to utilize facility space at LEMC to prepare approximately 25 ejection seats no longer required by AFSAC to return to stock. In addition to providing dedicated storage for seats and hosting the team, LEMC assisted the U.S. Air Force in returning the seats to stock for spares, which will support grounded aircraft requirements as required.

“This has widespread impact beyond just our Command,” said Roberds. “We got to see the project’s significance to Combat Air Force and Global Strike Force requirements and how this accomplishment affects U.S. Air Force and Joint readiness.”

“We don’t get a lot of Materiel Command experience, so it was great seeing ammo operations in action at Letterkenny Munitions Center,” added Leach. “Honestly, it was eye opening to see the actual logistics behind acquiring munitions parts.”

“All of the stakeholders’ relentless efforts were instrumental in returning limited critical Cartridge Actuated Devices, Propellant Actuated Devices, and seat spares to the Air Force inventory,” said Robin Melvin, ACES II Program Manager, Human Systems Sustainment SPO. “This initiative has provided the CAD/PAD and Human Systems Sustainment SPOs ten years of spare assets valued at over $8M!”

In addition to the seat itself, the ACES II has a variety of critical piece parts that will support essential requirements. This initiative helped both the Human System Sustainment Seat SPO and CAD/PAD SPO to support and fill vital requirements for ACES II Drogue Parachutes and CAD/PAD assets.

“This effort will provide access to critically low quantities of these lower level assemblies and provide much needed relief to the fleet on items that are critical to their operations and improve asset readiness,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Ignatowski, LEMC Commander.

LEMC is located on Letterkenny Army Depot and conducts regional and global distribution of munitions, provides missile maintenance, and conducts demilitarization of munitions for the U.S. Army in support of Joint Forces and international partner nations.