Mission ready fighters
18th Wing PAO | .
published: September 09, 2016
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airmen rush from one end of the hangar to the other, strapping down more than 70 pallets full of aircraft equipment as the mechanical whir of forklifts moving equipment can be heard throughout the hangar.
The 18th Equipment Maintenance Squadron prepared aircraft equipment in support of Exercise Valiant Shield here Aug. 31.
Exercise Valiant Shield is a joint operation between the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force which takes place in Guam. The focus of the exercise is maintaining air and sea superiority within the Pacific.
Master Sgt. Jermaine Hall, 18th EMS north side Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) section chief, mentioned the unit built 75 pallets of supplies within 48 hours. Equipment included more than 60 generators, air conditioners, fuel bowers, maintenance stands, aircraft jacks and hydraulic servicing carts.
All of these supplies were going to support Kadena’s aircraft involvement with Valiant Shield. Without the provision of the 18th EMS, the aircraft would not be able to participate in the exercise.
The 18th EMS supports maintenance for Kadena’s aircraft and sortie production for a 14,000-hour annual flying-hour program.
Tech. Sgt. Michael Hauser, 18th AGE NCO in charge of production support section, mentioned his section provides tools, technical orders, calibrated test equipment, supply items, fuel for equipment and hazardous waste disposal to all AGE technicians.
Hall added the AGE flight maintains over 950 support equipment assets for aircraft ground operations.
“We provide ground support equipment to facilitate maintenance, pre-flight, and post-flight operations for all aircraft on Kadena,” said Hauser. “Every 18th Wing mission involving an aircraft could not happen without AGE. It would be very difficult, if not impossible, for aircraft to get off of the ground without AGE support.”
The efforts of all of the maintainers in the AGE flight get the aircraft into the air.
“We always do our best to stress the importance of each and everyone’s job in the AGE flight and how it supports each of Kadena’s missions,” said Hall. “Whether it be a refueling mission, a reconnaissance mission, or a Special Operations rescue mission; without their dedication and hard work, none of it could be possible.”
Kadena’s involvement with different operations and missions would not be possible without the hard work of the AGE flight.
“The AGE flight may not be as glamorous and highly visible as other Air Force jobs, but it’s vital to the mission,” said Hall. “We are the ‘wizards behind the curtain.’ We work in scorching temperatures and freezing cold. We become soiled in dirt, sand, grease, fuel, hydraulic fluid and oil on a daily basis, but we do it for our country. Everyone has their part of the puzzle in the Air Force, and the mission could not succeed without the dedicated AGE flight’s maintenance professionals.”