Circuit Breakers Robotics Club tests the water with metals Airmen
By Senior Airman Mackenzie Richardson, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 05, 2016
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- The Circuit Breakers, Medical Lake High School’s robotics club, caught a glimpse of Fairchild’s “metal mission” during a tour with the 92nd Maintenance Squadron metals technology section Dec. 1, at Fairchild Air Force Base.
Metals technology Airmen demonstrated numerous fabrication, welding and cutting techniques commonly used both in military metals work and civilian metal technology career fields.
“With community events like this, we are able to set a basis for the importance of manufacturing,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Crider, 92nd MXS metals technology section chief. “Metals technology isn’t just another task these students are doing at school, it is used everywhere and we want to educate the students about the possibilities.”
The metals technology section completes fabrication, welding and metal cutting for numerous squadrons around base including the 36th Rescue Squadron. They also troubleshoot stuck screws and bolts and fix threading on fasteners for the KC-135 Stratotanker.
“The metals technology section has a crucial mission,” Crider said. “We gather blueprints and are able to reverse engineer parts that can no longer be found with contractors.”
Staff Sgt. Jerry Brock and Staff Sgt. Robert Sabins, 92nd MXS metals technology craftsmen, gave the students a first-hand look at the tools and machines used to accomplish the Air Force mission including the waterjet cutter and the shop’s newest machine, a dual spindle lathe.
Prior to visiting Fairchild, the Circuit Breakers club provided the metals technology section with a piece of sheet metal and a computer aided draft of a part needed to complete a robot. The metals technology section used a waterjet cutter to demonstrate the 54,000 PSI abrasive solution to cut the parts needed for the club’s robot.
“The students were able to see amazing equipment and the professionalism of the personnel,” said Bernie Polikowsky, Medical Lake High School robotics club mentor. “Building relationships and finding mentors helps these students find career paths and be ready for what comes after high school. They need to get out of the classroom and see what opportunities are available to them."
The metals technology section plans to host more community events to ensure their crucial mission and the art of manual manufacturing is shared to encourage young students to pursue their passion.