EGRESS: The perfection of ejection

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Wesley Martinez, 509th Maintenance Squadron egress technician, removes screws from mission commander hatch during an routine inspection Aug. 12, 2014 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The hatches must be removed for inspections on the ACES II ejection seats to ensure serviceability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Wesley Martinez, 509th Maintenance Squadron egress technician, removes screws from mission commander hatch during an routine inspection Aug. 12, 2014 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The hatches must be removed for inspections on the ACES II ejection seats to ensure serviceability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Papa, 509th Maintenance Squadron egress technician, sets communication headsets at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, Aug. 12, 2014. The 509th Maintenance Squadron's egress shop maintain the B-2s' egress systems, ensuring they function properly for pilot safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Papa, 509th Maintenance Squadron egress technician, sets communication headsets at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, Aug. 12, 2014. The 509th Maintenance Squadron's egress shop maintain the B-2s' egress systems, ensuring they function properly for pilot safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Paul Blake, 509th Maintenance Squadron egress systems supervisor, performs environmental sensor test Aug. 5, 2014 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The environmental sensor is used to accurately read aircraft airspeeds and altitudes. Whiteman’s egress shop receives vital assistance multiple units on base including the electrical environmental shop and the aircrew flight equipment shop. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Paul Blake, 509th Maintenance Squadron egress systems supervisor, performs environmental sensor test Aug. 5, 2014 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The environmental sensor is used to accurately read aircraft airspeeds and altitudes. Whiteman’s egress shop receives vital assistance multiple units on base including the electrical environmental shop and the aircrew flight equipment shop. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry/Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- The 509th and 131st Maintenance Squadron egress shop works hand-in-hand, maintaining each B-2's egress system to ensure they function properly for pilot safety.

"We swap out the emergency equipment, maintain all explosive time changes and ensure there are no defects on the ejection seats," said Staff Sgt. Paul Blake, 509th MXS egress system supervisor. "If there is a crack or damage, we pull the seats and repair them. It's important for us to repair the seats because, failure to pay attention to detail could result in the seat's inability to function in the time of need."

The egress shop tracks all explosives, both manually and electronically with the integrated maintenance data system to confirm whether or not the explosives are serviceable.

"We make sure all the explosives are within their serviceable time and if the pilots need the ejection seats, the seats will work," Blake said. "We are not able to test the egress system, so every 30 days there is an inspection done to ensure the seats are in accordance with technical orders."

Like many jobs in the military, teamwork and communication with other units is important to mission success. Whiteman's egress shop receives vital assistance multiple units on base including the electrical environmental shop in and the aircrew flight equipment shop.

"Installed on each seat is a recovery parachute and survival kit," said Senior Airman Trevor Bagley, 509th MXS egress journeyman. "The Aircrew Flight Equipment shop is responsible for maintaining these items. We track their inspections to see when the items are due and we will remove them from the aircraft to take to them. They will perform maintenance on them and give them back to us to reinstall back on to the seats. After they are reinstalled, we will perform an egress final inspection."

The egress shop takes pride in their work efforts ensuring the Whiteman mission continues to function with the success of the egress system.

The egress system is an important part of the aircraft because it is the pilot's last line of defense, Bagley said.