Razor Talon: Behind the scenes

Senior Airman Tanner Collins, 336th Fighter Squadron crew chief, performs routine checks before taxiing for takeoff during Exercise Razor Talon, June 6, 2017, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Every month, Seymour Johnson Airmen take part in the exercise to prepare them for what may happen in deployed environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado-Suarez)

Senior Airman Tanner Collins, 336th Fighter Squadron crew chief, performs routine checks before taxiing for takeoff during Exercise Razor Talon, June 6, 2017, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Every month, Seymour Johnson Airmen take part in the exercise to prepare them for what may happen in deployed environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado-Suarez)

Senior Airman Tanner Collins, 336th Fighter Squadron crew chief, taxis an F-15E Strike Eagle for takeoff during Exercise Razor Talon, June 6, 2017, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The monthly exercise allows service members unique opportunities to combine land, air and sea forces from all service branches in a realistic training environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado-Suarez)

Senior Airman Tanner Collins, 336th Fighter Squadron crew chief, taxis an F-15E Strike Eagle for takeoff during Exercise Razor Talon, June 6, 2017, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. The monthly exercise allows service members unique opportunities to combine land, air and sea forces from all service branches in a realistic training environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado-Suarez)

An F-15E Strike Eagle takes off for Exercise Razor Talon, June 6, 2017, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Razor Talon takes place off the East Coast of North Carolina and includes other military branches, such as the Army and Navy, to simulate possible events in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado-Suarez)

An F-15E Strike Eagle takes off for Exercise Razor Talon, June 6, 2017, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Razor Talon takes place off the East Coast of North Carolina and includes other military branches, such as the Army and Navy, to simulate possible events in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado-Suarez)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

The F-15E Strike Eagle squadrons assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing generate more than 14,000 sorties every year. With that many jets flying every day, many people may wonder how Team Seymour provides such a unique capability as often as it does.

Everyone is familiar with the pilots in the jets, but who makes certain all the components of the airframe are functioning properly before takeoff?

The answer is simple. A group of trained and dedicated maintainers with the sole purpose of sustaining that capability no matter the problem or conditions.

In the case of the 4th FW, more than 2,000 men and women assigned to the 4th Maintenance Group ensure that each F-15E is prepared to carry out any mission or exercise that the wing is assigned including the Air Combat Command’s premier monthly east coast large force exercise Razor Talon.

“The maintainers’ role in Razor Talon is to provide operators with reliable and ready aircraft for the exercise,” said Tech. Sgt. Justin Mirante, 336th FS flightline expediter. “We are supplying mission-capable aircraft for our aircrew, so they can accomplish their mission.”

Due to the significance of ensuring service members are prepared to conduct potentially sensitive overseas contingency operations, it is important that each jet is maintained properly. In order to do this, 4th MXG maintainers work tirelessly day or night, to ensure the safety, reliability and capability of every Team Seymour aircraft. Sometimes, they work more than 12 hours on a single aircraft to ensure its preparedness to participate in high intensity exercises such as Exercise Razor Talon.

Razor Talon is a monthly exercise that is headquartered out of Seymour Johnson AFB and involves Air Force and joint services across the nation. It is conducted across the Expanded East Coast Battlespace in Northeastern North Carolina.

 

“If we, as maintainers, can’t provide a safe and reliable aircraft, then operations couldn’t happen. Without us, there wouldn’t be any mission-ready aircraft,” said Senior Airman Tanner Collins, 336th Fighter Squadron crew chief.

Razor Talon acts as a unique opportunity for 4th MXG maintainers to push their limits and prepare as if they are conducting real-world contingency operations.

“I feel great about [Razor Talon],” said Mirante. “It’s a unique exercise because it provides the opportunity to work with our joint brothers and sisters along the nation, and prepares us for any upcoming deployments along with any unforeseen conflicts in the future.”

Behind the scenes of the mighty Strike Eagle’s operations, the 4th FW maintainers make sure the jets are primed and the pilots are ready for the safest and most mission-ready flight possible every day.

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