786th CES Airmen test readiness with NATO partners

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 786th Civil Engineer Squadron boosted its readiness with military personnel from NATO partners including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, at an annual conference on Ramstein Air Base.

The partnership allowed all parties to learn from each other about the aircraft arresting system process.

The aircraft arresting system ensures fighter aircraft, or any aircraft equipped with a tailhook, comes to a complete stop if a pilot is unable to land the aircraft safely.

While Ramstein AB doesn’t normally use the system because of the base’s airlift mission, the base has become a common stopping point for a variety of aircraft that transit through. This is significant because transient aircraft are allowed to use the Ramstein AB airfield in the event that they cannot land at their home base.

The Ramstein AB aircraft arresting system received its annual certification Oct. 30. The certification further strengthens the partnerships Ramstein AB has with other bases.

“It shows that we are capable of working together,” said Tech. Sgt. Jhazzen Singleton, 786th CES noncommissioned officer in charge of aircraft arresting systems. “We partner with them to accomplish the goals of not just a single base, but a larger Air Force.”

The partnership with Baltic countries is the first time Singleton has worked with other nation’s power production technicians.

“It shows that we work on some of the same systems,” Singleton said.

In contrast, some of the original prototype systems the U.S. uses are now employed operationally by NATO partners in real world scenarios.

“Our jobs are driven by procedures and Air Force instructions,” Singleton said. “We all get to an end goal, but our partners may do something a little bit differently than we do to get to that common end goal.”

The interaction allowed participating countries’ personnel to share and learn from each other.

“You always get something new,” said Lithuanian air force Pvt. 3rd Class Aurimas Kantauskas, aircraft arresting system technician.

The partnership was also beneficial because each country now has the knowledge of how the aircraft arresting systems work, making relations between them easier in the future, explained Latvian air force Sgt. 1st Class Kaspars Jansons, power production technician.

But the crossfeed of experiences and methods to overcome challenges doesn’t end. The participants now have an extended network of people to collaborate with.

“If they are having problems, they can email us,” Singleton said. “Likewise, I’m going to email them. Then maybe they know how to fix it and the same for us.”