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Test cell Airmen ready engines for launch

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Edward Yankus

The train-sized warehouse rumbled as an F-15C Eagle jet engine roared to life. The engine’s after-burner kicked on and flames shot from the exhaust down a building-sized tunnel as Airmen from the 18th CMS carefully checked for problems.

Airmen with the 18th CMS assigned to the engine test facility run diagnostic testing on each engine that has been serviced, repaired or rebuilt, to ensure runs without a problem before it is sent back out. When they receive an engine, they must first determine the problem and then run the proper diagnostic tests.


“Performing inspections on the engines is important in ensuring that they meet proper serviceability,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Adam Arms, 18th CMS propulsion flight craftsman. “These tests help provide an accurate reading on the engines to see if any leaks are found during engine run up.”


Every engine is tested for quality by the jet engine test instrument, a computer used to check the engine's ‘vitals.’ The JETI shows the temperatures inside the engine, the amount of vibrations in the engine and oil pressure. If something is not performing up to the standard, they must manually check the part or change it and continue the test from there.


If an engine fails inspection, it is sent back to an aviation mechanics shop to be repaired and brought back to be tested again.


The ETF is sealed to test the raw strength of the engine in a safe environment following the inspection. The facility is lined with various sound-suppressing panels to help lower noise pollution to the installation and neighboring community.


“At the ETF, we exemplify the standard when it comes to providing reliable engines to ensure aircraft and pilot safety,” said Master Sgt. Lea Anna M. Kelley, 18th CMS propulsion flight chief. “Without the work our Airmen do, it would be impossible to provide engine reliability for our pilots here at Kadena and in deployed locations across the Indo-Pacific.”