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Helicopter maintenance Airmen support ‘spin-up’ exercise

Senior Airman Aaron Mier, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief checks the tail rotor of an HH-60G Pave Hawk during a post-flight inspection, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Mier, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, checks the tail rotor of an HH-60G Pave Hawk during a post-flight inspection, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

An Airman from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit coils a headset cord while aircrew members from the 41st Rescue Squadron prepare for a mission in an HH-60G Pave Hawk, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

A U.S. Airman from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit coils a headset cord while aircrew members from the 41st Rescue Squadron prepare for a mission in an HH-60G Pave Hawk, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Maintainers from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit perch on top of an HH-60G Pave Hawk during engine maintenance, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

U.S. Air Force maintainers from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit perch on top of an HH-60G Pave Hawk during engine maintenance, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Senior Airman Dylan Shephard, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, marshals an HH-60G Pave Hawk after a mission, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Dylan Shephard, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, marshals an HH-60G Pave Hawk after a mission, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

An aircrew member from the 41st Rescue Squadron discusses the maintenance status of an HH-60G Pave Hawk with airmen from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit after a mission, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

A U.S. Air Force aircrew member from the 41st Rescue Squadron discusses the maintenance status of an HH-60G Pave Hawk with airmen from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit after a mission, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Maintainers from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit inspect the engines of an HH-60G Pave Hawk after a reported bird strike, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

U.S. Air Force maintainers from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit inspect the engines of an HH-60G Pave Hawk after a reported bird strike, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The 41st HMU worked alongside the 41st Rescue Squadron for ten days as they conducted pre-deployment “spin-up” training. The maintainers were responsible for ensuring three aircraft were combat-ready at a moment’s notice and worked around the clock to meet this requirement for both day and night missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

Senior Airman Matthew Steward, left, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, holds a camera used to inspect the inside of an HH-60G Pave Hawk’s engine, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The snakelike camera was fished through the engine checking for any internal damage after striking a bird while in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Matthew Steward (left), 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, holds a camera used to inspect the inside of an HH-60G Pave Hawk’s engine, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. The snakelike camera was fished through the engine checking for any internal damage after striking a bird while in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

Senior Airmen Matthew Steward, left, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, and Vivek Lebouef, 41st HMU aerospace propulsion technician, guide a small camera through the intake of an HH-60G Pave Hawk engine, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. After the helicopter struck a bird, Airmen conducted detailed inspections before flying again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Matthew Steward (left), 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, and Vivek Lebouef (right), 41st HMU aerospace propulsion technician, guide a small camera through the intake of an HH-60G Pave Hawk engine, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. After the helicopter struck a bird, Airmen conducted detailed inspections before flying again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

Senior Airman Aaron Mier, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, watches as an HH-60G Pave Hawk prepares to launch, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Airmen conducted two weeks of spin-up training with a higher operations tempo to provide a more realistic deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Mier, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, watches as an HH-60G Pave Hawk prepares to launch, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Airmen conducted two weeks of spin-up training with a higher operations tempo to provide a more realistic deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

Senior Airman Aaron Mier, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, watches as an HH-60G Pave Hawk prepares to launch, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Airmen performed hot refueling and crew changes, meaning the aircraft never shut off during the procedures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Mier, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief, watches as an HH-60G Pave Hawk prepares to launch, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Airmen performed hot refueling and crew changes, meaning the aircraft never shut off during the procedures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

An HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 41st Rescue Squadron flies over the flightline during a ‘spin-up’ exercise, Dec. 12, 2016, at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. During the spin-up, the 41st RQS, alongside mission partners from the 38th and 71st Rescue Squadrons, conducted high-tempo rescue operations designed to mimic the missions they will fly downrange. They based their operations out of Patrick AFB and flew missions to Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla.(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)
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A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 41st Rescue Squadron flies over the flightline during a "spin-up" exercise, Dec. 12, 2016, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. During the spin-up, the 41st RQS, alongside mission partners from the 38th and 71st Rescue Squadrons, conducted high-tempo rescue operations designed to mimic the missions they will fly downrange. They based their operations out of Patrick AFB and flew missions to Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla.(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Airmen from the 723rd Aircraft Maintenane Squadron 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit worked around the clock to ensure aircraft were combat ready during a pre-deployment "spin-up" exercise Dec. 5 through 15 at Patrick AFB.

Spin-up training is a high-tempo ritual for the 41st Rescue Squadron which is designed to mimic real-world, deployed flying operations. This training would be impossible, however, without constant maintenance performed quickly and skillfully.

“Maintenance plays a huge role in this exercise by getting the aircraft off the ground and flying,” said Capt. Robert Smith, 41st RQS pilot. “We’re executing at a tempo that is going to be very similar to how we’ll be operating when we’re deployed, so this is also good practice for them to fit the maintenance into the flying needs of our rigid alert cycle.”

Although the "spin-up" was primarily meant for the aircrew, it also helped to test and prepare the maintainers.

“If the birds are broken, they can’t fly,” said Staff Sgt. Caleb Castillo, HMU aerospace propulsion technician. “We’re here to make sure [the helicopters] are functioning properly, so the crews can get the training they need.

“Our maintainers are putting in the hours,” Castillo continued. “The tempo is definitely way up. We’re all going on this deployment together, so we're specifically training for that tempo. [As a maintainer], you're looking at what you're going to go do downrange, rather than just your day-in, day-out training missions back home.”

With the high-demands put on the aircraft, Smith credits the maintainers with keeping the birds in the sky.

“We’re putting a lot of hours on the aircraft right now,” Smith said. “We’re really flying them hard, and they've done a great job getting them back and turning them for the next day. Every time we deploy, they’ve always been stellar.”