39th MXS aircraft recovery team performs crane-lift exercise

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  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 39th Maintenance Squadron’s Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery team conducted a crane-lift exercise at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Nov. 23, 2021.

CDDAR is a program that enables quick and effective response and recovery of any downed aircraft while avoiding any further damage. Tech. Sgt. Patrick Curran, a CDDAR team chief assigned to the 39th MXS, said that the program is one he hopes to not use often, but the CDDAR Airmen must be ready at all times.

“This training is primarily to keep our team proficient,” explained Curran. “In case a real-world scenario happens, you don’t want that to be your team’s first experience. There’s a lot going on, especially in a joint environment, and you need to rely on your team members to know what they’re doing.”

The exercise scenario required the CDDAR teams to respond to a disabled Turkish Air Force F-4 Phantom II aircraft. Airmen surveyed the scene and aircraft for any potential hazards and determined the best course of action for recovery. The team then prepared to lift the aircraft with a crane by attaching hoist cables and using wire rope with winches to stabilize the aircraft.

Performing this type of training gives Airmen a better understanding of what to expect when working with partners in a joint environment, said Senior Airman Gage Buckland, a CDDAR journeyman assigned to the 39th MXS.

“I’m a hands-on learner,” said Buckland. “The fact that we’re able to work with our partners and set this kind of training up helps me a lot. It’s so much different doing it in real life compared to just seeing the procedures on paper.”

The CDDAR team routinely sharpens their capabilities in case they are called to support aircraft for NATO partners or tenant units like the 728th Air Mobility Squadron and 384th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron.

“If you have a flying operation at your base, you need our team,” he said. “Whether it’s an in-flight emergency, ground emergency or aircraft mishap, we’ll be ready to respond.”