Metals tech, the Air Force’s fabrication shop

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ethan Spickler
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 445th Maintenance Squadron’s Metals Technology shop uses a wide array of tools and design software to create and repair parts that are essential for the function of the wing’s vehicles and equipment. The shop provides fabrication, alteration, and refurbishing services for aircraft components and ground equipment. The possibilities of what Airmen in this shop can create are virtually endless.

“Metals technology is basically the fabrication shop for the Air Force,” said Master Sgt. Nicholas Garmin, the metals technology section chief. “We weld, grind, cut design and fabricate basically anything and everything, whether it be a part for the aircraft or a part for a piece of ground equipment that maybe needs servicing or broken, we fix it.”

The metals technology shop has many tools that allow it to fulfill its mission. These include a water jet, and an abrasive to cut through metal, as well as an enclosed computerized numerical control machine, multiple welding machines, and many more.

“We do anything from design work to the actual manufacturing of parts and components, which could include grinding, milling, cutting, and welding,” said Garmin. “We are kind of a one stop shop for anything that needs manufactured, altered or just refurbished.”

The metals technology shop allows its Airmen to use their skills and creativity to contribute to the wing mission. The job of a metal’s technologist can offer enjoyment for those who appreciate hands-on work.

“I enjoy my job because I love working with my hands,” said Tech. Sgt. Tyler Williams. “There is a good bit of satisfaction seeing, a raw chunk of metal, go to the part that actually gets put on an airplane or on a piece of support equipment.”

The needs of the Air Force require the ability to operate in a fast-paced environment, and often, parts and components can take long time to order. The metals technology shop is able to provide immediate solutions to the challenges of safely maintaining equipment and having it readily available.

“With the capabilities we have in our shop, I feel like it helps the wing complete the mission because if there’s a time constraint on parts coming in we could locally manufacture something sometimes quicker than a part can come in, or if there’s not even any assets available anywhere else, then we could quickly make something that’s useful for the airframe.”