Air Force Featured Stories

Maintainers uses multi-national partnerships for success

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Benjamin Sutton
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
A small group of maintainers here use their unique skill set to perform their jobs and maximize combat readiness.

They don't use wrenches or drills; the maintenance operations center's, MOC's, tool box consists of hand-held radios, phones and computers.

Allied service members from Great Britain and Australia joined U.S. warfighters in the continued effort to maximize combat readiness, capability and survivability in the contested-degraded environment that is Red Flag 14-1.

"As the maintenance operations center for Red Flag, we are responsible for coordinating literally everything from among more than 20 units," said Master Sgt. Jeramie Simpson, the 366th Maintenance Group MOC NCO in charge. "We have controllers from the National Guard, U.S. Navy as well as Royal Australian Air Force and British Royal Air Force. We work together to solve issues by sharing our ideas and solutions."

Being able to share experiences and talk technical data with other controllers is one unique experience for members assigned to the MOC.

"There are so many similarities between our nations in regards to how we work, share information and pass on instructions," said RAAF Flight Sgt. Scott Morrison, a 77th Squadron armament technician from Williamtown, Australia. "Red Flag is such a fantastic training opportunity for all of us and the amount of technical knowledge and the wealth of experience inside the MOC is fantastic."

For 15 days, military members, analysts and other positions from bases across the United States and other ally countries work together as the Blue Force. They fight against the more-experienced Red Force, a group at Nellis AFB trained to act like the enemy and challenge the Blue Force.

"It's difficult for us to decipher the aggressors from normal operations considering the vast amount of communication that happens here," Simpson said. "However, we have specific processes in place to verify the identity of callers. Because of that, each controller is either fielding a radio or a phone call almost every minute of each shift."

The MOC is responsible for opening critical lines of communication between deployed maintenance and operations Airmen, as well as communicating real-time aircraft status information to the air expeditionary wing commander.

"We dispatch local resources to all squadrons and act as a liaison between ground crews, aircrews and commanders, as well as managing all flightline emergency dispatches," said Senior Airman Jordan Jacobs, a 27th Fighter Squadron weapons system controller from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. "The training here is critical in being able to efficiently function during deployed operations."

This exercise gives Airmen an opportunity to experience realistic combat scenarios to prepare and train Airmen in the event of future conflicts or war.

"Red Flag has an incredibly high tempo and we are moving along accomplishing our mission," said Tech. Sgt. Greg Swaisgood, a 120th Fighter Squadron, Colorado Air National Guard, weapons system controller from Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. "There's a lot of excitement in the room and regardless of where they call home, military professionals are working together and accomplishing the mission."