by Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
6/5/2015 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The
flying mission does not stop. At any given hour, teams of maintainers
work as their uniforms reek and glisten of oil and hydraulic fluid.
Regardless of the time, day or severity of the weather, these men and
women report to their duty sections every day with one mission -- keep
their aircraft flying.
The KF-16 Fighting Falcon crew chiefs from the Republic of Korea air
force 123rd Maintenance Flight, 20th Fighter Wing, Seosan Air Base, and
the Wolf Pack's 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron worked around the
clock to inspect, troubleshoot and maintain F-16s and KF-16s during
Exercise Buddy Wing 15-4 here, June 1 to 5.
"Our U.S. counterparts collaborated with us to ensure we had the
necessary equipment and resources to do our jobs on the flightline,"
said ROKAF Warrant Officer Young-Ki, 20th Fighter Wing crew chief. "The
generous support they provided allowed for a seamless transition in
terms of shifting maintenance operations from Seosan to Kunsan Air
This is the first time in 15 years since Young-Ki visited Kunsan Air Base for a Buddy Wing Exercise.
"There were things that have changed since my first Buddy Wing exercise
at Kunsan Air Base in 2000," Young-Ki said. "However, our mission to
support training sorties through perfect maintenance remains the same."
As Seosan crew chiefs provided maintenance to ROKAF jets, their U.S.
counterparts from the 8th AMXS provided support to pilots from the 35th
"My leadership briefed me how Exercise Buddy Wing 15-4 is in place here
to strengthen our bond with the ROKAF," said U.S. Air Force Senior
Airmen Brenton Repine, 8th AMXS assistant dedicated crew chief. "I think
being a part of the partnership between ROKAF and the U.S. is very
special. It's pretty cool to know that I'm part of a coalition force."
Whether working to ensure aircraft are mission capable for exercises
like this iteration of Buddy Wing or assisting a wingman with a
maintenance issue, a crew chief's primary responsibility is to generate
"I think everyone on our maintenance team is incredibly vital to the
mission," Repine said. "We all have a mission to work towards and if it
doesn't get done, then aircraft aren't going to fly."