Damaged instrument landing system repaired in record time at JBSA-Randolph

  • Published
  • By Benjamin Faske
  • 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

On Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, an off-base civilian driver had a medical emergency, drove their vehicle through the Northwest perimeter fence and damaged the 33 Left localizer shelter. The localizer provides pilots with precision fly left and fly right  indications to ensure landing occurs on the runway centerline.

The truck impacted the corner of the shelter, spinning it 120 degrees and ripping it completely off the concrete pad.

With the shelter damaged, it was left to members of the 12th Operations Support Squadron’s Radar Airfield and Weather Systems, or RAWS, team to fix the damaged localizer. The RAWS teams ensures reliable function of weather sensors, radios and ground-based navigational aids.

Kristopher Kite, RAWS flight chief, worked to locate a temporary localizer. Luckily, the Air Force Flight Standards Agency, or AFFSA, at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, had one available. The Emergency Restoral Instrument Landing System, or ERILS, was shipped and installed within two duty days, resulting in zero missed training sorties.

With AFFSA personnel in town, the 12th OSS took advantage of the weekend by calling in three teams to complete their preventive maintenance inspections in one day, an annual inspection that normally takes a week to complete.  

With the new localizer shelter delivered, crews worked to have it replaced in one week.

“We removed the old shelter and brought in the temporary Instrument Landing System (ILS) and had it installed within two duty days which included full connectivity,” Kite said. “The 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron did a tremendous job hooking up the power and communications in record time.”

The civil engineer team used a backhoe to dig trenches for the new power and communications lines before burying them again.

Lt. Col. Jared Laliberte, 12th OSS commander, has come to expect the quick reaction capabilities of the RAWS team.

“Mr. Kite and his team are among the best and most experienced RAWS technicians in the Air Force,” Laliberte said. “They have been specifically requested to assist other units across Air Education and Training Command and even the Department of Defense.”

Teamwork was key to completing the project in record time. Robert Bailey, 502nd CES electrical systems supervisor, provided much of the logistical support to complete the project.

“The ILS repair project was a significant undertaking that required close coordination between the 12th OSS and 502nd CES,” Laliberte said. “It would have been impossible to complete the project without the quick response and phenomenal support we received from CES, AFFSA, and Nineteenth Air Force. We greatly appreciated their mission focus, which ensured no training sorties were lost.”

For his team’s effort, Bailey was later coined by Col. James Muniz, 12th Operations Group commander.