Incirlik CDDAR team conducts airbag lift training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Haiden Morris
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Members from the 39th Maintenance Squadron’s Crashed, Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery Section, the 728th Air Mobility Squadron Aircraft Maintenance team, and the Turkish Air Force participated in a CDDAR training event with a disabled Turkish Air Force F-4 Phantom II on June 27, 2024.

The goal of the training was to equip and refresh members on the proper procedures of CDDAR and how to utilize those skills to ensure a quick and safe recovery of a damaged or disabled aircraft.

“This training gives our CDDAR members real-world, hands-on experience with applying the knowledge of the equipment and process under a real aircraft,” said Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Popovich, 39th MXS CDDAR team chief. “What makes this training event unique is that it puts all of our training and skills to the test in completing a simulated worst-case scenario aircraft lift.”

This training gives Airmen more of an understanding of how to operate and hone their CDDAR skills because of the in-depth real world setting that the training takes place in.

“This training is very important, as hands-on training is better than any training you can get in a classroom,” said Senior Airman Deshae Guillen, a CDDAR member assigned to the 39th MXS. “This training keeps us on our toes and gives us the experience without being in a real-world scenario.”

The training consisted of placing platforms under the F-4 in strategic locations to negate any unnecessary damage during the airbag lift, placing the airbags with covers in the correct positions on each of the platforms, and then inflating the airbags with the right amount of PSI to safely conduct the lift.

“The positioning of the airbags is extremely crucial because we don’t want to cause any secondary damage to the aircraft,” said Popovich. “We familiarize ourselves with the aircraft’s primary structural components and use that as a guide to determine where to put the bags.”

The Turkish Air Force provided the F-4, observed, and participated in this training to assist and learn how the CDDAR team operates during an airbag lift.

“We are appreciative of the Turkish Air Force members for letting us utilize this aircraft for this event,” said Popovich. “We have no other means or aircraft to accomplish this training task, and without their help, our team would  have to find potential TDY locations.”

The 39th Air Base Wing boosted contingency responses by efficiently training Airmen on aircraft bag lifts, also deepening ties with the Turkish Air Force through their participation in the exercise.