by Senior Airman Divine Cox
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
6/19/2015 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 8th Fighter Wing tested its flying and maintenance operations during Surge Week here June 15 through 18.
F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots from the 35th Fighter Squadron "Pantons,"
80th Fighter Squadron "Juvats" and 175th Fighter Squadron "Lobos,"
deployed here from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, flew together generating
over 350 sorties during the four-day event.
Surge Week tested the skills and wartime capabilities of Wolf Pack
operators, maintainers and supporting agencies to simulate pilots'
wartime flying rates.
"A collective effort from multiple units made this surge a success,"
said Senior Master Sgt. Benjamin Carpenter, 8th Aircraft Maintenance
Squadron. "If aircraft can't fly, the Wolf Pack can't fight."
Airmen from the 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 8th AMU and the
maintenance back shop quickly collaborated to keep jets airborne. The
surge also tested the Airmen's ability to fix and refuel the F-16 in a
"This was my first time conducting hot refueling operations," said
Airman 1st Class Daniel Langer, 8th LRS refueling equipment operator.
"I'm amazed at how many jets we can refuel in such a short period of
time. It was really exciting!"
Airmen conducted hot pit refueling to rapidly refuel each aircraft and
allow it to complete a second sortie, thereby maximizing the sorties
flown in a short amount of time.
"The surge operations relied largely on the hot refueling program," said
Master Sgt. Aaron Gammill, 35th AMU lead production superintendent. "We
had coordination with LRS for fuel support and coordination with the
wing to be able to get the fuel and trucks for this operation."
The surge operation is held twice a year with maintainers going on
12-hour shifts to ensure the heavy demands of flying and fixing aircraft
"A typical day for us is a 12-hour shift," said Senior Airman Zachary
Gant, 8th AMXS crew chief. "But during this surge, we were constantly
launching aircraft, which kept us extremely busy; busier than normal."
Overall, Surge Week played a robust role in keeping the wing mission-ready.
"Completing over 350 sorties in four days in not an easy task," Gammill
said. "This would not have been probable if it wasn't for the hard work
of these dedicated Airmen."