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Crash recovery team vital to combat frontier’s flying mission

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford
  • 455 AEW/PA
Airmen assigned to 455th Air Expeditionary Wing’s Crash, Damaged, Disabled Aircraft Recovery Team are always just a phone call away to respond to any in flight emergency or mishaps that occurs here. One such mishap happened recently when an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft departed the runway after landing. The crash recovery team was on scene within minutes of being notified and started the process of getting the aircraft back on the runway. “This isn’t Aviano, Seymour Johnson, Luke or any other Air Force base where we can divert the aircraft and take care of the recovery in the morning,” said Master Sgt. Garrett Faust, 455th AEW CDDAR regional manager. “The jet was stuck in a way that it was impeding runway traffic and we needed to get it back on the runway and keep the mission going.” The crash recovery team’s main goal is keeping the runway open so that the flying mission at Bagram can be successful. “We keep the runway open,” Faust said. “That is our primary focus. After the mishap we were able to quickly accomplish that. What the team did was vital and allowed the combat mission here at Bagram to go on unimpeded.” Arriving aircraft were able to land here due to the quick reaction and ability of the crash recovery team to get the aircraft back on the line. “The C-17 [Globemaster III aircraft] that needed to land was still able to, it didn’t have to get rerouted,” said Faust. “That was because of the efforts of everyone that was out there, the crash recovery team as well as all the support agencies that made that happen.” Faust is deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, and the rest of the team is deployed from Aviano Air Base. This was the team’s first time getting to put their training and experience to the test since arriving at BAF. “We did really well, there were some teachable moment’s, Faust said. “There were somethings that we will get better at, things that I will get better at but overall we did a really great job. We quickly got the aircraft back on the runway and back to its location so that it could be repaired and put back on the line.” The team will keep continue to train together and will be ready to respond to any in flight emergency or aircraft mishap at Bagram to ensure the wing delivers decisive airpower in support of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.