Incirlik's 'Monster Garage' fabricates success

  • Published
  • By By Senior Airman Erica Picariello
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
According to the Merriam and Webster dictionary, to fabricate something is to construct it with diverse and usually standardized parts.

Incirlik's fabrications shop lives true to their profession by burning, banging and sometimes breaking metals in order to create something from nothing.

"I run one of the most unusual organizations in the Air Force," said Master Sgt. Bob Schrader, 39th Maintenance Squadron support flight chief.

It's unusual because the fabrications shop is comprised of two sheet metal and two metals technicians, housed under one roof and in support of a wide-range of aircraft and equipment, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

"These Airmen are expected to know a myriad of Air Force instructions, each other's jobs and the technical orders for the plethora of transient aircraft at Incirlik," Sergeant Schrader said.

Each aircraft, helicopter, or piece of aerospace ground equipment has very specific instructions for repair based on its mission; lives depends on having the right metal strength based on g-force or threading, the sergeant said.

This might seem impossible, or at least overwhelming, but some fabrications shop Airmen take a more creative outlook.

"We are the 'Monster Garage' of the Air Force," said Senior Airman Justin Elledge, 39 MXS aircraft metals technician. "Where most career fields are dedicated to fixing something specific or following a process, ours is finding a way to make something work."

Like the television show, these Airmen weld, break, burn or scrap something ordinary into something extraordinary.

"Our job is theory; finding a way to make something work even if it means creating a solution," Airman Elledge said. "It once took us a week to create a unique 3 and one-half foot wrench out of steel to fit the a specific tread on a rusted AGE aircraft lift seal, but we were able to fix the lift."

In addition to find a way to make something work, they often have to replicate a common asset to keep Incirlik at 100 percent mission ready.

"We are also a local manufacturer on base," said Staff Sgt. Andrew Davis, 39 MXS assistant chief. "If the base needs something like screws, backings for a sign, nuts, bolts, or even metal stands, but it can't be purchased or it is out of stock, we can produce it."

Just like Jesse James and his crew of maverick mechanics on "Monster Garage," these Airmen rip, grind and burn through an ordinary day to help make the world's greatest Air and Space Force.

"Without this fabrications shop there wouldn't be mission success," Sergeant Schrader said. "It provides a capability that without it, aircraft wouldn't fly."