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.
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 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.