Defense

February 14, 2014

Maintainers counter cyber threats for first time at Red Flag 14-1

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jerry Conover, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, conducts an intake inspection on an F-16 Fighting Falcon Feb. 10 on the flight line at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Intake inspections are completed before every flight to ensure an aircraft’s intake is clear of cracks and debris.

 
Maintainers learn how to counter cyber threats on the flightline for the first time though innovation and adaptability here during Red Flag 14-1.

Maintainers are not only expected to keep their aircraft in the fight but are also being tested on scenarios they may face while in the combat zone.

“What we’ve done is created what we call a ‘contested, degraded or operationally limited’ environment, or CDO, for our maintainers, and it’s designed to prepare our Airmen for what they may face in a major combat environment,” said Maj. Christopher Vance, 414th Combat Training Squadron maintenance division chief, and who’s in charge of creating maintenance training scenarios. “This is a beta test for maintenance. CDO has never before been applied to maintenance during the exercise.”

TSgt. Donnie McGuark, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, lowers a lift used to install a new F-16 Fighting Falcon fuel tank on the flightline Feb. 10 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The lift has a front and back crank in order to provide an easier installation of fuel tanks.

Red Flag leadership wants to ensure Airmen on the flightline are able to problem-solve and respond to their environment if and when they are faced with a compromise in technology or cyber threat. Scenarios were devised to train maintainers in a similar format to Red Flag pilots.

“Our maintainers are very innovative and come up with solutions to problems on their own all the time, but this has raised their awareness to a new level,” said Lt. Col. Tony Lombardo, 366th Air Expeditionary Wing maintenance group commander at Red Flag 14-1, and who’s deployed from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. “The good thing is our Airmen are aware of technology, and they’re adaptable. It’s amazing to see them embrace this challenge.”

Red Flag maintainers also receive academics on cyber vulnerabilities, information operations and other CDO-related threats.

“Our Airmen want the feedback,” Lombardo said. “At the end of the day, they want to know how they did against the scenario.”

SSgt. Jaymes Russell, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, tightens down a panel on an F-16 Fighting Falcon wing on the flightline Feb. 10 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The panel was removed to expose the bolt used to attach the fuel tank.

Instructors from the U.S. Air Force Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officer School, the weapons school of maintenance, are also on scene to serve as observers and to document how these Airmen respond to the challenges given to them. Their mission is to take that information and create tactics, techniques and procedures, and recommend official Air Force doctrine on how maintenance will counter cyber vulnerabilities on into the future.

“This training is necessary for our maintainers. This is a new Air Force, and we need to be prepared for all types of threats,” said Chief Master Sgt. Gerard Liburd, 366th AEW senior maintenance superintendent at Red Flag 14-1, who’s also deployed here from Mountain Home AFB.

When asked how the maintainers are responding to the new challenges while working on the flightline, he said, “They have higher situational awareness. If something looks out of place, they’re all over it. If the computer doesn’t work, they create a workaround. We’re hoping our Airmen can take what they’re learning here and incorporate it in to their training back home.”
 

SSgt. Jaymes Russell, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, places a panel back onto an F-16 Fighting Falcon on the flightline Feb. 10 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The panel was removed to expose the bolt used to attach the fuel tank.

 

SSgt. Jaymes Russell, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Viper Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, adjusts a torque wrench prior to tightening a new fuel tank onto an F-16 Fighting Falcon on the flightline Feb. 10 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. A torque wrench is used to control the tightness of a bolt to ensure the ideal pressure is being used.

 

SrA. Daniel Yager, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Aircraft Cannibalization Dock technician (left), and Staff Sgt. Adrian Navarro, 757th AMXS Cannibalization Dock manager (right), conduct an aircraft hydraulic test on an F-15C Eagle Feb. 10, 2014, inside the Flanker aircraft maintenance unit hangar at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The hydraulic system is tested using a hydraulic mule, ensuring the aircrafts hydraulics are running correctly.

 

SrA. Daniel Yager, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Aircraft Cannibalization Dock technician, attaches lines to an F-15C Eagle’s hydraulic system for a hydraulic test inside the Flanker aircraft maintenance unit hangar Feb. 10 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Hydraulic test are administered to ensure an aircraft’s hydraulics are working prior to flight.

 

SSgt. Adrian Navarro, 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Aircraft Cannibalization Dock manager, inspects the hydraulic line on an F-15C Eagle’s landing gear prior to a hydraulic test inside the Flanker aircraft maintenance unit hangar Feb. 10 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Maintaining the correct hydraulic pressure is critical to successfully deploying and retracting landing gear.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 29, 2014

News: Unmanned rocket explodes just six seconds after taking off - A NASA rocket due to be visible across the East Coast on its way to the International Space Station has blown up on the Launchpad. IG: Former chief of wounded warrior office broke law, DOD regs - The Defense Department inspector general has recommended “corrective action”...
 
 

News Briefs October 29, 2014

F-35C makes first landing at Virginia Beach Navy base The Navy says an operational F-35C joint strike fighter has landed at Naval Air Station Oceana for the first time. Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s master jet base on the East Coast. The Navy says the plane came to the Virginia Beach base Oct....
 
 

Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia’s aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic. Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance – the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>