Falcon's strength tested by propulsion Airmen
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The sound-proof building occasionally bathed in a purple glow and emitting an earth-shattering roar is home to propulsion Airmen from the 35th Maintenance Squadron test cell.
More commonly referred to as the "hush house," Airmen test one to two engines weekly to ensure they're fully capable to properly perform inside F-16 Fighting Falcons.
Home-based engines as well as engines shipped from Osan and Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, are sent to the propulsion maintenance back shop if an issue with an engine arises. The most common problems that occur are oil and fuel leaks or abnormal vibrations. After Airmen from the back shop diagnose and repair the problem, the engine is sent to the test cell.
Test cell Airmen then attach the engine to an apparatus that measures the engine's parameters, speed, temperatures and vibrations. Although these Airmen's main goal is to test the engines, they have the power to repair basic issues while doing their pre-checks and post-checks. For major problems, the engine is returned to the back shop.