31st Fighter Wing Supports Romanian Air Force Allies

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Raya Feltner
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

CAMPIA TURZII, Romania – U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 31st Maintenance Squadron arrived May 9th, 2024 to Câmpia Turzii, Romania, with the intent of servicing and supporting aircraft solely from the 555th Fighter Squadron during exercise Astral Knight 24. However, when Allied partners with the Romanian air force needed help, they answered the call.

“Their F-16 needed a new engine fuel strainer,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Shane McGowen, 555th Fighter Generation Squadron F-16 production superintendent. “Since they only recently welcomed these aircraft into their inventory, they had a lack of experience changing the part.”

Personnel from the 31st MXS expeditiously exercised fundamental concepts of Agile Combat Employment through their flexible nature to step-in and assist, providing the expertise necessary to troubleshoot the task at hand.

“We were able to help their crew chiefs and fuels personnel with the depaneling process while also providing some insider tips and knowledge to streamline the approach,” said McGowen.

Training with our joint and combined Allies is essential to the success of the ACE concept. Distributing aviation operations and technical knowledge increases our lethality, and enhances interoperability, allowing our forces to counter military aggression and coercion by sharing responsibilities for common defense.

“Overall it was really beneficial because it helped open up relationships with the Romanians,” said McGowen. “And it gave them hands-on experience that can’t always be obtained from reading the technical data and manuals.”