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18th Wing completes super surge

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jessi Monte
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

 The 67th and 44th Fighter Squadrons and their respective aircraft maintenance units put their sortie generation skills to the test during a four-day super surge at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Oct. 18-21, 2021. 

It took the combined teamwork of various units throughout the wing, including support from the 18th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, the 18th Component Maintenance Squadron and the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron, to successfully execute the exercise. 

The super surge is designed to simulate a fast-paced, deployed combat environment with a significant increase in sortie production. Surge operations are vital to the development of aircrew and support personnel, allowing them to further improve the skills needed to remain a ready and capable force.

“Being proficient at the kind of split-second, tactical maneuvering required to be an effective fighter pilot requires a lot of repetition,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Marshall, 44th Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagle pilot. “Surge operations allow us to build up the muscle memory needed to make those quick decisions.”

On average, 18th Wing fighter squadrons accumulate approximately 200 flight hours per five-days of flying. Throughout the four-day super surge, pilots and support personnel generated 371 sorties spanning approximately 302 flying hours.

The exercise took place between the hours of 6:30 am and 7:00 pm. This allowed the squadrons to meet their flying goals while still respecting the community and quiet hours. 

The rapid increase in flying operations also provided a critical training experience for maintenance personnel, simulating the same environment they would face in a deployed location. 

“In a war scenario, our maintenance units would have to launch and recover aircraft very quickly,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Devin Duffell, 44th Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge. “The super surge helps them get into the movement of doing that, increasing their combat readiness and overall proficiency.” 

18th Wing aircrew and maintainers continue to push their limits through effective training, ensuring they are fully prepared to face potential contingencies. 

“Surging gives everyone involved an opportunity to rapidly enhance their capabilities and build valuable experience,” said Marshall. “This ultimately creates a more lethal warfighting force so we can continue to gain and maintain our air superiority in defense of the Indo-Pacific region.”