Returning home

Returning home

by Airman 1st Class Corey M. Pettis, 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --  After a few weeks of training, it was time for the 44th Fighter Squadron to come home. Multiple F-15 Eagles from the 44th returned to their nest from Malaysia Aug. 2, after participating in Exercise Cope Taufan.

Cope Taufan is biennial exercise between the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

Units from the Pacific Air Forces and the Royal Malaysian Air Force were the main players in the training exercise, although other units such as the Malaysian Army also participated.

This exercise tests air superiority and provides training in close air support, air command and control, tactical airdrops and air refueling. This is achieved all while strengthening U.S. and Malaysian ties and improving the overall military readiness on both sides.

Staff Sg.t Michael Hilborn, a 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, marshalled the jets safely back in their spots.

Hilborn explained that a particular jet didn’t have anything broken on it, so it didn’t need to have any major work done after parking.

“Once it comes in [lands], I’m going to marshal it in, and we’ll chalk it up and go through the required steps to shut the jet down,” said Hilborn.

Once the jet comes to a stop, a B-man, the person who secures the jet, is the one who jumps into action.

“When the jet comes to a stop I am the one that puts the chalks in and puts the pins into place and makes sure everything is ready for the pilot to get out of the seat,” said Airman 1st Class Joshua Alers-Varela, 44th AMU crew chief and B-man.

After all of the proper steps are taken, the pilot gets the signal to power down the engines and climb out of the cockpit.

The 44th FS will use the short stay at home station to prepare for months of back-to-back exercises around the Pacific as they continue to train with their allies to maintain peace and security in the region.

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