CDDAR: ADAB, AFCENT's Team Executes Training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mya M. Crosby
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates -- Aircraft maintainers assigned to the 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Group joined together and conducted aircraft familiarization training at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 14-21. 

If an accident were to transpire, be it a fatal crash or an aircraft running off the flight line, the Crash Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery team, composed of Airmen throughout the 380th EMXG, would be called into place immediately. 

Each individual from the CDDAR team traditionally performs routine repair maintenance on the four lethal birds currently defending, surveilling or supporting the desert skies at ADAB – the E-3 Sentry AWACS, U-2 Dragon Lady, RQ-4 Global Hawk and KC-10 Extender. 

In order to stay effective with this important assignment, the appointed members rendezvous on the flight line and familiarize themselves with each other’s aircraft. 

“This training is a very important part of our job because of what we do,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Brown, 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron U-2 repair and reclamation craftsman and CDDAR team member. “Being proficient in the recovery of all on-station aircraft will only aid us in the overall effort to respond to and recover any aircraft from any incident that may occur.” 

Each maintainer would conduct a physical walk around of their aircraft and show certain key components that are critical to know about crash recovery. The other team members would ask informed questions to learn the differences and similarities between the two. 

“It’s really cool to see how others work on their planes and the little idiosyncrasies involved in them,” said Staff Sgt. Mario Marchetti, 380th EAMXS E-3A aircraft repair mechanic and CDDAR team member. “Talking to them and finding out what they really like about their plane, what troubles them, how some airplanes are simple to work on compared to others in some aspects, but more difficult in different aspects. For instance how small everything is on the RQ-4 and U-2’s, but how you need a stand or ladder to even look at a KC-10.” 

Other comparisons the team members noticed were similar airframes, components and internal systems. 

As the Airmen, who have anywhere from three to 12 years of aircraft experience, picked each other’s brains on small details, they also learn how imperative their extra duty as a CDDAR team member is. 

“It’s important to note that the Airmen assigned to the CDDAR team are given this responsibility as an ‘additional duty,’ and because of the personal attributes that are displayed in their primary Air Force Special Code,” said Master Sgt. R. Pete Smith, 380th EMXS Regional CDDAR team chief. “A well-built crash recovery team will be composed of a variety of individuals that have a keen awareness for solving problems outside the norm. This is especially important for the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing here at ADAB, since the U.S. Air Forces Central Command has regionalized [our] CDDAR capabilities for the entire area of responsibility.” 

The AFCENT AOR ranges from the top of Uzbekistan near the Aral Sea, all the way to the southern tip of Yemen – spanning across 20 Central and Southwest Asian countries. 

With such an enormous region to cover, the team ensures that they are prepared and capable of handling the task if ever necessary. 

“The CDDAR team is a group of highly-skilled and motivated Airmen,” said Col. James Clavenna, 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Group commander. “If ever called upon, anywhere in the AOR, I have total confidence this team will deliver.”