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Team Ramstein helps Spangdahlem replace antenna
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- A local contractor operates a crane on Spangdahlem Air Base Jan. 18, 2013. The 1st Communications Maintenance Squadron, the 52nd Communications Squadron and local contractors from Trier, Germany worked together through the cold weather to replace a $180,000 faulty antenna that sat atop a 65-foot tower. The replacement ensures the tactical air navigation system is put back online. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Aaron-Forrest Wainwright)
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Spangdahlem, Ramstein replace antenna

Posted 1/25/2013   Updated 1/27/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Aaron-Forrest Wainwright
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

1/25/2013 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Airmen from the 1st Communications Maintenance Squadron here traveled north to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany during icy road conditions to assist the 52nd Communications Squadron replace a malfunctioning Tactical Air Navigation System Jan. 16.

The TACAN antenna is a beacon for fighter and heavy aircraft that provides precise navigation and direction for pilots during approach.

"The old antenna was faulty," said Staff Sgt. Shawn Arnett, 1st CMXS craftsman. "It would randomly shut off."

 The 1st CMXS,  52nd CS and contractors from Trier, Germany worked together through the cold weather for approximately 10 hours to fix the $180,000 antenna that sat atop a 65-foot tower. 

A six-man team from Kapaun Air Station, Germany, a  team of Spangdahlem airfield systems technicians and the contracted assistance of two cranes from Trier removed the problematic TACAN antenna from its tower and installed a refurbished antenna.

"We supported the (52nd CS and local contractors) with special technical support" said Arnett. "And the local work center and contractors provided a lot of support."

The 52nd CS and the contractors demonstrated the execution of skillful maintenance of two different units that don't usually work together.

"It went (smoothly)," said Senior Airman Pedro Escamilla, 52nd CS airfield system technician. "It was cold, but (we were able to finish)."

The TACAN system is set to go back online in three weeks to provide critical information to aircraft flying within 200 nautical miles of Spangdahlem AB.


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