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MacDill displays readiness with aircraft arresting system

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 6th Air Refueling Wing alongside two F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 482nd Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., completed the annual certification on the BAK-12 aircraft arresting system here April 22.

Although fighter aircraft are not assigned to MacDill, its geographical location makes it a perfect candidate to support nearby bases including Eglin AFB, Shaw AFB, Tyndall AFB, Homestead ARB and Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.

“It’s a service not many Air Mobility Command bases provide,” said Link Collier, 6th Operations Support Squadron airfield manager. “However, the 6th Air Refueling Wing’s multi-capable Airmen continue to display why MacDill Air Force Base is trusted with providing a unique type of support.”

The BAK-12 system is used to support fighter aircraft in situations such as an in-flight emergency or when aircraft lose hydraulic fuel in the brakes.

“It’s simple but effective,” said Allen Raysor, a 6th Civil Engineer Squadron power production mechanic. “Once the aircraft reports the IFE, it will prepare to land and catch a cable with a hook until it slows down and comes to a full stop."

Once the cable is engaged by an aircraft, the 6th CES Fire and Rescue Airmen respond to the aircraft to ensure it is safe. It is then handed over to transient alert personnel, where it is unhooked from the cable and it will either taxi back or be towed to a parking spot.

The successful completion of the BAK-12 certification exercise reflects the 6th ARW’s readiness and compliance with U.S. Air Force standards.

“We’ll be ready,” Collier said. “From the mechanics to the pilots, we will maintain our readiness and standards in order to keep the mission going.”