Sailors keep aircraft in shipshape condition

by Cpl. Nathan Wicks
MCAS Iwakuni

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- U.S. Navy sailors with Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135 performed maintenance on E/A-18G Growlers at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to support exercise Cope North, which is scheduled for Feb. 8 – March 8, 2017.

Cope North is a multi-national, bilateral training event including the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, Royal Australian Air Force, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

Each aircraft must go through a series of inspections and have their deficiencies corrected prior to each flight.

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Brandon Moyer, line and armaments division leading chief petty officer, said these inspections and repairs must be done daily to ensure the safety of the aircraft.

“We have daily turn around inspections that are due before each flight,” said Moyer. “Getting all the general servicing and external inspections squared away prior to today’s flight schedule is a requirement because if we don’t perform these inspections, the integrity of the aircraft isn’t verified. That could lead to a malfunction with an aircraft and it’s our job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

After all the discrepancies are addressed, it is up to the sailors of VAQ-135 to get to work and make the necessary repairs.

“Once the leading chief petty officer tells us what needs repaired we get right to it,” said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Gullickson, an aviation ordnance man. “After all the repairs are made, we report it back to the leading chief petty officer, and then he makes the final run through to verify.”

Once all the repairs and inspections have been completed, the aircraft are deemed clear for flight and are ready for their next mission.

Gullickson said though he doesn’t get the opportunity often, he enjoys working with the U.S. Marines.

“It’s always an interesting time with the Marines,” said Gullickson. “They’re good guys, and they always get the job done.”

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