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True air power

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Quentin Freeman, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, secures a panel on an F-15 Eagle April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th AMU assists the 44th Fighter Squadron with preparations for realistic training and exercises, such as Exercise Vigilant Ace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Quentin Freeman, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, secures a panel on an F-15 Eagle April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th AMU assists the 44th Fighter Squadron with preparations for realistic training and exercises, such as Exercise Vigilant Ace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Locke Williams, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, prepares an F-15 Eagle for flight April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Crew chiefs play a vital role in ensuring aircraft are ready for flight and pre-flight inspections by the pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Locke Williams, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, prepares an F-15 Eagle for flight April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Crew chiefs play a vital role in ensuring aircraft are ready for flight and pre-flight inspections by the pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron are prepared for flight by 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chiefs April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-15 Eagle is a classic war-fighting jet capable of reaching speeds of more than 1,800 mph. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron are prepared for flight by 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chiefs April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-15 Eagle is a classic war-fighting jet capable of reaching speeds of more than 1,800 mph. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Quentin Freeman, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, prepares the cockpit of an F-15 Eagle for flight April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Crew chiefs ensure pilots have optimum visibility when piloting their aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Quentin Freeman, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, prepares the cockpit of an F-15 Eagle for flight April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Crew chiefs ensure pilots have optimum visibility when piloting their aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Locke Williams, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, takes a screw driver out of a tool box April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. When performing maintenance on aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle, proper placement of tools is necessary for fast retrieval and use. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Locke Williams, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, takes a screw driver out of a tool box April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. When performing maintenance on aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle, proper placement of tools is necessary for fast retrieval and use. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, inspects an F-15 Eagle prior to flight April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-15 Eagle is a tactical fighter designed to sustain air supremacy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, inspects an F-15 Eagle prior to flight April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-15 Eagle is a tactical fighter designed to sustain air supremacy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, performs pre-flight checks on an F-15 Eagle April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Pilots inspect their aircraft to make sure it will be safe to operate and carry out the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, performs pre-flight checks on an F-15 Eagle April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Pilots inspect their aircraft to make sure it will be safe to operate and carry out the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, climbs up to the cockpit of an F-15 Eagle April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS participates in multiple exercises throughout each year, maintaining partnerships with neighboring nations as well as peace and stability in the Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, climbs up to the cockpit of an F-15 Eagle April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS participates in multiple exercises throughout each year, maintaining partnerships with neighboring nations as well as peace and stability in the Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, conducts pre-flight checks in the cockpit of a F-15 Eagle April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-15 is a vital asset to carrying out Kadena’s mission of providing premier air power. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, conducts pre-flight checks in the cockpit of a F-15 Eagle April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-15 is a vital asset to carrying out Kadena’s mission of providing premier air power. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, prepares for flight April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS is one of two F-15 Eagle units in the Asian-Western Pacific area of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Austin Hurley, 44th Fighter Squadron pilot, prepares for flight April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS is one of two F-15 Eagle units in the Asian-Western Pacific area of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Locke Williams, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, communicates with an F-15 Eagle pilot while conducting pre-flight checks April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Throughout pre-flight checks, crew chiefs maintain a constant line of communication with the pilot in order to ensure the process is running smoothly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Locke Williams, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, communicates with an F-15 Eagle pilot while conducting pre-flight checks April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Throughout pre-flight checks, crew chiefs maintain a constant line of communication with the pilot in order to ensure the process is running smoothly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron taxies down the flightline April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kadena is the Keystone of the Pacific, with F-15s capable of supporting multiple missions and exercises throughout Kadena’s Pacific area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron taxies down the flightline April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kadena is the Keystone of the Pacific, with F-15s capable of supporting multiple missions and exercises throughout Kadena’s Pacific area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron taxi down the flightline April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS provides support for multiple aviation training relocation missions as well as temporary duty missions throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron taxi down the flightline April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS provides support for multiple aviation training relocation missions as well as temporary duty missions throughout the Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron line up before take off April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS prepared more than 10 F-15s to go to Guam in support of an aviation training relocation mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron line up before take off April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS prepared more than 10 F-15s to go to Guam in support of an aviation training relocation mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron takes off from the runway April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS provides invaluable support to the operational plans and contingency operations of the Pacific Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron takes off from the runway April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 44th FS provides invaluable support to the operational plans and contingency operations of the Pacific Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron takes off from the runway April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kadena is the Keystone of the Pacific, with F-15s capable of supporting multiple missions and exercises throughout the Pacific area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)
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A U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle assigned to the 44th Fighter Squadron takes off from the runway April 19, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Kadena is the Keystone of the Pacific, with F-15s capable of supporting multiple missions and exercises throughout the Pacific area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynette M. Rolen)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

Gentle orange and red rays of the early morning cast long, slow shrinking shadows across the flightline.

The slight dew from the night before quickly burns away, leaving the air thick and damp. Figures dressed in long, blue jumpsuits move from one aircraft to the next as they prepare for the mission ahead.

The 44th Fighter Squadron and 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit sent more than 10 F-15 Eagles to support Exercise Vigilant Ace in Guam April 19.

“Exercise Vigilant Ace is a lateral large-force exercise we support,” said Tech. Sgt. Jon Paul Aubert, 44th AMU aircraft section chief. “It shows we’re able to deploy jets to assist our allies with anything they need.”

The exercise is designed to maintain readiness and capabilities for responding to any contingency.

“We participate in exercises quite often,” said Aubert. “With us and the 67th FS, the 18th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron usually does more than five exercises per year.  Our participation in Vigilant Ace says a lot as to how quickly we can get out there and how many jets we can generate.”

The generation of Kadena’s jets for these exercises is made possible by the teamwork of 44th AMU crew chiefs and 44th FS pilots.

Airman 1st Class Locke Williams, 44th AMU crew chief, said one of the things he enjoys about these missions, and his job, is working with the pilots.

“We’ve spent a lot of hours preparing for this exercise,” said Williams. “It’s definitely a lot of work for us to handle, but we can pull it off. It’s rewarding to see the fruits of our labor and see the jets flying in the air, going to their destination.”