PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The 182nd Airlift Wing at the Illinois Air National Guard base does many things, but the continuous aircraft maintenance is what makes everything possible.

Master Sgt. Brandon Hoerner, aircraft inspection supervisor at the 182nd Airlift Wing, said aircraft maintenance is one of the most important things done at the base.

“These inspections are huge. They make sure we have a flying force ready at all times, and these inspections make that happen…Having these planes flyable, making sure the maintenance is done properly, is vital,” he said.

Lt. Colonel Justin Childers flies the C130 planes. He said the maintenance at the 182nd Airlift Wing is unparalleled.

“We have some of the best maintenance in the Air Force. For the last 10 years we’ve had the highest mission capable rate in the Air Force,” he said.

Crew Chief Traci Wilson is the 13th member of her family to join the 182nd Airlift Wing. She said working in maintenance gives her a sense of pride.

“Its really cool being in maintenance. I get to be really close to the mission, work with my hands, get to see the ins and outs of what we get to do everyday,” she said.

Hoerner said the maintenance is never ending; each plane gets a thorough inspection every 540 days.

“It’s nonstop. These things are constantly getting inspected, maintained daily…We try to keep the maintenance time at a minimum for the aircraft to be down. We try to get these things out the door as soon as we can so they can be up in the air and fly,” he said.

Last year, the 182nd Airlift Wing received their 10th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for their work supporting the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest in Illinois and Washington D.C. and 2020 election cybersecurity.