Well done Col. Bill Rupp

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon
  • 86th Airlift Wing
This week Col. Bill Rupp relinquished command of the 86th Maintenance Group to Col. Scott Fike. I'd like to say a special thanks to Colonel Rupp by highlighting the great work he and the men and women of the 86th MXG have accomplished these past two years.

Bill and his impressive team of 750 Airmen have maintained a total of 27 C-130s, C-21s, C-20s, and C-40 aircraft. These combat airlift and distinguished visitor aircraft support three combatant commands. For the past two years, Colonel Rupp and his maintainers have elevated our C-130 readiness to the highest levels we've ever seen at Ramstein. And this past year their annual C-130 Mission Capable rate was the highest of all 37 C-130 maintenance squadrons in the Mobility Air Forces (#1 of 37).

Bill and his team were also working behind the scenes at continuous process improvement (CPI) using AFSO21 tools. Many have already heard about their Aerospace Ground Equipment, or AGE improvements that were lauded last year by AF Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz. That's just the beginning. His Airmen reduced tool inventories by 7,300 items, trimmed benchstock by 98 (that's right) 98 percent, and through these initiatives saved Ramstein $25,000 annually. They embraced CPI so much that the 86th MXG's reduced their entire real estate footprint on Ramstein. That's right, they gave back to the base not one, but two facilities valued at a total of $4.6M! No wonder his MXG team was named the wing's foremost champion for AFSO21.

Bill and his maintenance professionals were also working hard on the flightline flawlessly converting from 16 older C-130Es to 14 new C-130Js. Their mission focus kept us ahead of the programmed timeline for people, C-130J specific equipment, and maintenance training.
How flawless you ask? Well three weeks ago, Bill's maintainers performed the first active duty isochronal (ISO) inspection of a C-130J in our Air Force. After less than two weeks work they returned the C-130J model back to the flightline early and ready to fly. And I didn't hesitate when the next week, I flew it on its first sortie post ISO. Now that's confidence in your Airmen, that's confidence in your leadership and that's a true testament to the maintenance professionals we have in our 86th MXG.

But don't take it from me, HHQ inspections told us that Bill's 86th MXG earned an "Excellent" in last year's Unit Compliance Inspection and an "Excellent" in this year's LCAP Inspection.

Bill and Andrea -- Sara and I, the men and women of the 86th MXG, and Team Ramstein all thank you for and congratulate you on a job very well done. We wish you both God Speed as you strap on the Deputy A4 billet at HQ AMC, Scott AFB!