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49th MXG aids Hellenic Air Force in training course development

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Corinna Sanabia
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

Partnerships between the United States and allied nations are essential in carrying out the NATO mission of defending vital U.S. interests, deterring adversaries, and deepening connections with essential partners by projecting combat-ready airpower.

Members of the 49th Maintenance Group played a pivotal role in furthering the relationship with the U.S.’s NATO partners in Greece by aiding the Hellenic Air Force in establishing an F-16 Viper engine maintenance training program.

Robert Brooks, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center USAF to HAF technical advisor at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is responsible for ensuring the HAF has what they need to maintain and operate Greece’s F-16 engines.

“I was put in contact with the 49th MXG training section and asked if they would be willing to assist in helping the HAF align their overall maintenance program with the USAF’s,” he said.

The USAF and HAF utilize the F-100 Pratt and Whitney engine for their F-16 aircraft, so the 49th MXG provided the HAF with Holloman’s processes for maintenance and training to help build their training program.

“The HAF have elected to create a program mirroring the USAF’s in the area of engine blade blending and engine borescope inspection to start with,” said Brooks. “In order to do this with a kick start, Holloman’s course curriculum that the 49th MXG provided was of great aid.”

The program was officially stood up in Greece in June and they will now have a recurring training program in place for members of the HAF.

“Being able to work with the 49th MXG saved us a lot of man-hours and will help the HAF improve our training and certification procedures,” said Hellenic Air Force Lt. Col. Vasileios Zisopoulos, HAF liaison officer at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. “This will enhance the overall quality of maintenance from our technicians, beginning with engine-related work and, in the long term, expanding to all aircraft maintenance.”

The cooperation between the two nations’ Air Forces provided the HAF a baseline to build their own training program for two of the courses that are offered here at Holloman, bolstering air power both here and abroad.

“Improper repair or inspections can lead to catastrophic failure, and this could potentially lead to the loss of an aircraft,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Danielle Raulerson, 49th MXG propulsion instructor. “It is important that the HAF has this information so their fleet remains healthy.”

This partnership not only aids the HAF in strengthening their forces but also the USAF’s mission.

“Our NATO partners are essential to our strength within the Great Power Competition,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Karmyn Grabner Dyson, 49th MXG education and training manager. “The United States military force is so strong because of our NATO allies. Maintaining that partnership is not only essential to the future of the U.S. but for peacekeeping operations across the globe.”