Swamp Fox Readiness Surge a Success
By Airman First Class Ashleigh Pavelek, 169th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 11, 2015
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Swamp Fox F-16s ripping through the air across South Carolina on a drill weekend is not unusual. What made February's flying schedule a bit different for the maintainers and pilots was the pace of a "flying surge" exercise performed here, Feb. 7, 2015.
Members of the 169th Fighter Wing executed training in high-tempo flying missions as practice for deployments and were inspected in maintenance and operational procedures.
"It's pretty much the same thing that we do every day, it's just more intense," said Tech. Sgt. Jay Bicknell, a crew chief assigned to the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "It keeps us ready and focused for the mission at hand."
Maintenance crews were inspected during the surge in aircraft launch and recovery, refueling and hydrazine response procedures.
Beginning Saturday morning, pilots with the 157th Fighter Squadron flew 33 sorties in approximately 10 hours.
"This mission was a complete integration of operations and maintenance readiness for a realistic simulation of what combat ops would be like," said Lt. Col. Quaid Quadri, a pilot assigned to the 157th Fighter Squadron. "It was a huge success."
Simulating combat operations such as this weekend's surge sustains readiness for the South Carolina Air National Guard's future combat deployments.