KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Torque, an aircraft maintenance software, is being beta tested for the CV-22 Osprey community by Airmen from the 71st Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, starting July 15, 2020. During this initial test of Torque, Airmen from the 71st AMU will be using two of Torque's eight integrated maintenance software applications which include Personnel Management and Aircraft Scheduling.
“The Personnel Management application will be used to replace existing manual processes used by supervisors to track availability and qualifications of maintainers in each shop,” said Alexander Morris, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Detachment 12 (Kessel Run) Torque portfolio owner. “Maintainers and supervisors alike will use the Personnel Management application from their personal device or government computer to input appointments, track qualification levels, and seamlessly communicate maintainer availability to the CV-22 flight line production effort.”
The other application of Torque being tested is the Aircraft Scheduling application.
“The Aircraft Scheduling application presents a groundbreaking opportunity to streamline the cumbersome process of performing maintenance scheduling,” said Morris. “CV-22 schedulers will utilize the Aircraft Scheduling application to maximize the availability of aircraft ready for flight using an automated optimization tool, while balancing the need to ensure complete accuracy in plotting all scheduled maintenance and flying events.”
This beta test came together as a partnership between Air Force Special Operations Command and Kessel Run, says Edward Marohn, Kessel Run deputy branch chief, wing operations.
For Chief Master Sgt. Vincent Clevinger, 71st AMU superintendent, Torque will save time for him and his Airmen.
“The potential this software brings could net us an additional 60+ hours of on-equipment maintenance daily,” said Clevinger. “Man-hours and the management of those hours are critical pieces in maintenance. When we can give Airmen more time to do the job, we see better quality maintenance that ensures the aircraft and everyone onboard comes home safely.”
While excited for the time-saving aspect of Torque, Clevinger remains cautiously optimistic.
“We are both excited, yet cautious to be testing the Torque Maintenance Management Suite,” said Clevinger. “Excited because we are on the forefront of bringing the 21st century into legacy maintenance that has remained relatively unchanged over 25+ years. We have to be cautious about how we integrate and use this system to ensure we prove this is a viable solution for the CV-22 program, and maybe even the entire Air Force. We have to get this right.”
Timely and ongoing feedback from those testing the software sent to Kessel Run headquarters in Boston is crucial, according to Morris.
“As part of Kessel Run's user-centered design process, [71st AMU] maintainers will frequently communicate with the Torque software development team, providing feedback on the applications in order to continue to develop and enhance features necessary to increase efficiency and ease of use,” said Morris.
The ease of communicating with Torque and the software development team is a feature Clevinger looks forward to.
“The software is cloud-based meaning it is accessible anywhere we have access to the internet,” said Clevinger. “The system is secured using multiple authentication procedures and enables our Airmen access to the system [remotely].”
The mission of Kessel Run is to deliver war-winning software that Airmen love. Morris says that Torque will improve the productivity of those testing it.
“The objective of Torque is to increase aircraft availability, reduce cost per flying hour, and increase mobility through the use of modern technology and process revolutions,” said Morris.
According to Marohn, later this year, Airmen will test a third Torque application and serve a critical role in re-platforming the CV-22 technical orders into Torque's existing Tech Orders application.