Local

March 27, 2012

Wild Ducks fly east for spring training

1st Lt. Ryan Decamp
Christopher Cokeing
An F-16 from the 309th Fighter Squadron stands by for maintenance March 12 while an F-22 Raptor from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taxis on the flightline. Pilots and maintainers from the 309th helped the 43rd FS train with and against the squadron's F-22s.

Ducks may not have teeth, but try telling them they can’t bite. The Air Force version of the Grapefruit league’s best got to see what their Cactus League brothers had to offer on the Florida panhandle last week.

Almost 90 Airmen from the 309th Fighter Squadron and aircraft maintenance unit’s Wild Ducks headed to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., to help one of the base’s fighter squadrons with training March 4 to 15.

“We were primarily out there to help support the 43rd FS, flying with and against the F-22s,” said Capt. Patrick Kennedy, 309th FS weapons and tactics chief who, along with Capt. Jen Wade, 309th FS, organized the mission from the fighter squadron’s side. “The majority of the missions were just showing them different presentations. We simulated enemy tactics. We also got to fight BFM with them, or basic fighter maneuvers ““ one on one dog fighting.”

The Ducks brought eight F-16s with them and flew just shy of 100 flights. Kennedy had great things to say about the AMU that made the 96 sorties happen.

“The maintainers (309th AMU) were awesome down there and their support was unbelievable,” he said. “From planning to the execution, they were top notch. The crew chiefs were hustling every day to launch all the jets. They were always there when we needed them.”

The base recognized that effort prior to heading to Tyndall. The Wild Ducks’ AMU falls under the 756th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and earned the title of ‘AMU of the Year’ at the Maintenance Professional of the Year banquet March 3.

“The people who gained the most from the TDY were our supply and support Airmen, the people that bring all the tools and test




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