KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- As the haze of the morning rain lifted, figures of pilots could be seen walking to their respective jets as maintainers stood ready to set them in the sky.
The 67th Fighter Squadron sent F-15s to Guam in support of Exercise Valiant Shield Sept. 9.
Exercise Valiant Shield is a joint exercise between U.S. armed forces focusing on maintaining land, air, sea and cyberspace dominance in the Pacific.
“This is an important exercise because it shows our ability to relocate, integrate and demonstrate our ability to reach out to any adversary and provide air dominance,” said Capt. Angelo Pelligrini, 67th Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge. “Our pilots will get valuable training by integrating with the Navy, Marine Corps and other military units.”
For the exercise, Kadena’s pilots will provide aerial support for joint partners.
“They will be flying, fighting and winning by providing un-questioned air superiority,” said Pelligrini. “They will fly in large force exercises within a joint environment and sharpen their tactics for the defense of our nation and allies.”
Pelligrini said this exercise showcases our prowess in generating combat airpower.
“Our ability to launch aircraft in support of any mission or tasking is exactly what my job entails,” said Master Sgt. Timothy Jordan, 67th AMU production superintendent. “I gain a sense of pride and job satisfaction when we come together as a team with a myriad of moving parts and we are able to orchestrate all these complex actions into mission success.”
Without the hard work of maintainers, Kadena’s participation in large exercises like Valiant Shield would be limited.
“It takes an incredible amount of man-hours throughout the maintenance group to get our fleet ready for a deployment,” said Jordan. “For example, we have to complete all upcoming scheduled maintenance actions in advance, configure each aircraft for its specific mission set, perform preflight inspections, all the while dealing with personnel and limited resources due to being prepositioned at the deployed location. This is just a fraction of what we do to prepare.”
All of the preparation ensures peak performance during Valiant Shield.
“This launch demonstrates our capability to deploy aircraft in support of Exercise Valiant Shield,” said Jordan. “It showcases our flexibility and our ability to rapidly deploy combat ready aircraft, pilots, and maintainers while still executing the maintenance mission at home station.”