Fit to fly: Generating aircraft
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- When it comes to the task of generating F-16 Fighting Falcons and the first line of defense, Senior Airman Teddy Longnecker, 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics technician, said the rules are simple, "don't fail".
Longnecker was one of thousands of Airmen here put to the challenge of participating in an Operational Readiness Exercise March 18.
The ORE evaluations assess the wing' s ability to respond to accidents, disasters, increased states of readiness and deployments in support of worldwide contingency operations. Squadrons were stressed to see how well they would react to generating aircraft and preparing personnel and cargo processing for deployment.
Maintainers on base were required to generate multiple aircraft in less than 24 hours. Longnecker said the job was like preparing jets for war and that the main function of a generation is to load live ammunition, called combat loads, to prepare a jet to head into battle.
Longnecker added that it's also an opportunity for the maintainers to show that they're on their game and assess their readiness and execution.
While overseas it may seem exercises are happening often, but what is asked of service members is ever-changing.
"There is always something new and different; and the fact that we have new Airmen coming in fresh out of training and have never done a 12-hour shift makes it a good experience," said Longnecker, who is nearing his four-year point at the job. "Exercises prepare us just in case the real thing was to happen."