F-22 maintainers keep Raptors in flight, build lasting partnerships

Maintenance Airmen assigned to the 325th Maintenance Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., perform pre-flight checks on an F-22 Raptor at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 18, 2016. The F-22s deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and will be conducting air training exercises with other U.S. and Royal Air Force aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber/Released)

Maintenance Airmen assigned to the 325th Maintenance Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., perform pre-flight checks on an F-22 Raptor at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 18, 2016. The F-22s deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and will be conducting air training exercises with other U.S. and Royal Air Force aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber/Released)

Maintenance Airmen assigned to the 325th Maintenance Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., communicate with an F-22 Raptor pilot before takeoff from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 18, 2016. The aircraft arrival marks the second time the U.S. European Command has hosted a deployment of F-22 aircraft in the EUCOM Area of Responsibility. This is the largest deployment of F-22’s to Europe and the first to the U.K. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber/Released)

Maintenance Airmen assigned to the 325th Maintenance Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., communicate with an F-22 Raptor pilot before takeoff from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 18, 2016. The aircraft arrival marks the second time the U.S. European Command has hosted a deployment of F-22 aircraft in the EUCOM Area of Responsibility. This is the largest deployment of F-22’s to Europe and the first to the U.K. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber/Released)

A maintainer assigned to the 325th Maintenance Squadron marshals an F-22 from the 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., before takeoff from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 18, 2016. The 5th generation, multi-role fighter aircraft is deployed here to maximize training opportunities, affirm enduring commitments to NATO allies, and deter any actions that destabilize regional security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber/Released)

A maintainer assigned to the 325th Maintenance Squadron marshals an F-22 from the 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., before takeoff from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 18, 2016. The 5th generation, multi-role fighter aircraft is deployed here to maximize training opportunities, affirm enduring commitments to NATO allies, and deter any actions that destabilize regional security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber/Released)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The 325th Maintenance Squadron Airmen from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., answered their nation's call in support of the 95th Fighter Squadron F-22 Raptors deployment to RAF Lakenheath, England. The 95th FS are participating in air training exercises alongside F-15s and other Europe-based aircraft.

The training enhances the F-22's ability to rapidly deploy the only fully operational 5th-generation unit, to a range of worldwide contingencies in response to crisis situations.

"We're here for the pilots," said Airman 1st Class Christiaan Rose, 325th Maintenance Squadron F-22 Raptor maintainer. "We're here to help them train, and as maintainers we want to make sure the aircrafts are safe for them to do their job, and that they're able to execute the mission here."

While training at the 48th Fighter Wing, Tyndall maintainers are working day and night to keep the Raptors ready to train at a moment's notice, while learning to seamlessly work with NATO allies.

"Building strong partnerships and preparing ourselves for all types of real-world scenarios are great opportunities that we wouldn't be getting if we were still at home station," Rose said. "Working with our NATO allies is our number one priority for our time here at RAF Lakenheath."

The F-22s will forward deploy from the United Kingdom to NATO countries to maximize training opportunities, affirm enduring commitments to NATO allies, and continue to deter any actions that destabilize regional security.

"I've been all over the world, on various types of temporary duty assignments and deployments," said Tech. Sgt. Ryan Moore, 325th MXS nondestructive testing assistant NCO in charge. "I've learned that the most helpful tool in successfully completing the mission is adaptation. Adaptation is a very important characteristic to have as a maintainer. In a real-world scenario, when something goes wrong, it needs to be figured out quickly and efficiently."

The work of the 325th MXS must always be precise, timely and accurate in order to keep aircraft operational in the event of short notice deployments, it's crucial for aircrew members and maintainers to quickly react to any situation.