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 April 20, 2015

News: Sale of U.S. arms fuels the wars of Arab states - As the Middle East descends into proxy wars, sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks, countries in the region that have stockpiled American military hardware are now actually using it and wanting more. U.S. spending $1 billion to reassure European allies - From Army rotations...
 
 

News Briefs April 20, 2015

Last two Raiders give congressional medal to Ohio museum The last two ìDoolittle Tokyo Raidersî have presented their Congressional Gold Medal for permanent display at a museum in southwest Ohio. The medal arrived at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton in a ceremonial B-25 bomber flight. The medal was awarded by...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Space Solar Power Initiative established by Northrop Grumman, Caltech

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman’s Joseph Ensor (left) and Caltech’s Ares Rosakis (right) shake hands as part of the recent SSPI commemoration event held at the California Institute of Technology, Pasade...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton UAS conducts first flight with search radar

Navy photograph The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft takes off from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., April 16, to conduct its first flight from the naval base. The aircraft began sensor testing on April 18 and flew with its...
 
 

UTC introduces active side-sticks to large commercial aviation

UTC Aerospace Systems is introducing the world’s first active side-stick controller for large commercial aircraft. UTC Aerospace Systems is a unit of United Technologies Corp. UTC Aerospace Systems’ Actuation & Propeller business unit is supplying the active side-sticks for the cockpit of the new Irkut MC-21 single aisle aircraft. The MC-21 family of aircraft will...
 
 

Boeing presents flight test 787 Dreamliner to air, space museum

Boeing, elected and community leaders joined together April 17 to celebrate the permanent display of one of the original 787-8 Dreamliner flight test airplanes at the Pima Air & Space Museum. “Boeing has a strong presence in Arizona and is proud to share this important achievement in aviation history with the community, our employees and...
 




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>