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474th EOSS Airmen complete MAAS install at CACOM 5

F-16s along with personnel from Shaw AFB will rapidly integrate into theater training, as well as joint, coalition and partnered missions.

Staff Sgt. Robert Kelly, 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron electrical power production journeyman, directs equipment in as he makes final adjustment to the placement of the Mobile Aircraft Arresting System (MAAS) for Exercise Relampago VI at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 4, 2021. F-16s along with personnel from Shaw AFB will rapidly integrate into theater training, as well as joint, coalition and partnered missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emili Koonce)

F-16s along with personnel from Shaw AFB will rapidly integrate into theater training, as well as joint, coalition and partnered missions.

U.S. Airmen Assigned to the 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron and the 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron perform last-minute inspections prior to certifying a mobile aircraft arresting system for Exercise Relampago VI at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 7, 2021. Exercise Relampago VI provides joint training and improves readiness of U.S. and partner nation military personnel through interoperability training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Gutierrez)

F-16s along with personnel from Shaw AFB will rapidly integrate into theater training, as well as joint, coalition and partnered missions.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron perform last-minute inspections prior to a mobile aircraft arresting system certification test at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 7, 2021. Throughout the month of July Colombian Air Force and United States Air Force aircraft will fly together and against one another in training using NATO standards to promote seamless interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Gutierrez)

F-16s along with personnel from Shaw AFB will rapidly integrate into theater training, as well as joint, coalition and partnered missions.

Tech. Sgt. James Dotson, 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron Mobile Aircraft Arresting System (MAAS) installation crew lead, directs a fork lift to pick up supplies needed to complete the MAAS installation for Exercise Relampago VI at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 3, 2021. Throughout the month of July Colombian Air Force and United States Air Force aircraft will fly together and against one another in training using NATO standards to promote seamless interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emili Koonce)

F-16s along with personnel from Shaw AFB will rapidly integrate into theater training, as well as joint, coalition and partnered missions.

Members of the 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron Mobile Aircraft Arresting System (MAAS) installation crew work together to drive a stake used to anchor the MAAS system being used for Exercise Relampago VI at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 3, 2021. The United States is an enduring, reliable partner with a shared stake in the security and prosperity of the region, and this exercise will improve Colombian and U.S. forces’ capabilities to rapidly deploy and employ forces anywhere around the globe at any moment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emili Koonce)

F-16s along with personnel from Shaw AFB will rapidly integrate into theater training, as well as joint, coalition and partnered missions.

Staff Sgt. Robert Kelly, 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron electrical power production journeyman, directs equipment in as he makes final adjustment to the placement of the Mobile Aircraft Arresting System (MAAS) location for Exercise Relampago VI at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 3, 2021. Relampago VI provides joint training and improves readiness of U.S. and partner nation military personnel through interoperability training.(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emili Koonce)

F-16s along with personnel from Shaw AFB will rapidly integrate into theater training, as well as joint, coalition and partnered missions.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron performs a mobile aircraft arresting system certification test prior to Exercise Relampago VI at Comando Aereo de Combate Number 5 (CACOM 5) in Rionegro, Colombia, July 7, 2021. Relampago VI provides joint training and improves readiness of U.S. and partner nation military personnel through interoperability training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Gutierrez)

RIONEGRO, Colombia --

Airmen assigned to the 474th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron completed an install and certification of a mobile aircraft arresting system prior to the commencement of Exercise Relampago VI on a shared runway with CACOM 5 and Jose Maria Cordova International Airport, July 9.

The first ever MAAS install and certification at CACOM 5 is critical to maintaining mission readiness for ensuring safe fighter aircraft diverts to a runway.

“Our engineers had to use quite a bit of ingenuity developing multiple plans, working with the airport authorities, overcoming the terrain, to be able to get to the solutions so we can conduct this exercise and train with our partners,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. William McDowell, 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and 474th EOSS commander. “We’ve had to adjust, adapt and overcome so we can achieve a mission.”

The MAAS is a BAK-12 system that is made mobile with the trailers containing hydraulic tools and hardware designed to be implemented quickly in expeditionary or contingency locations that don’t feature more permanent infrastructure.

Should a fighter aircraft need to use the system, the MAAS acts as a barrier used to catch the arresting hook in case of a malfunction during takeoff or landing.

The installation involved a multi-capable team from different specialty fields and units from across the Air Force often working during nighttime hours to avoid disrupting the flying pattern of the commercial airspace.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Kelly, 474th EOSS electrical power production journeyman, described the endeavor as a learning experience for him and the entire team to be in place in a foreign country learning to work together.

“It’s all about cohesion,” said Kelly. “Everybody has their skillset and that really sets us apart. We adjusted and adapted to the situation, and we succeeded and learned a lot from it.”

After the completion of the multiple nights installation project the system underwent a successful certification test to ensure it will be able to operate in a real-time situation.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. James Dotson, 474th EOSS MAAS installation crew lead, attributed the overall success of the project to the team and our foreign partner commitments to execute a safe experience and return home for all involved.

“The biggest factor at the end of the day for this install is making sure we can get these pilots home to their families,” said Dotson.

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