Falcons: urge to surge
By Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 24, 2016
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- With more than 30 F-16CM Fighting Falcons preparing to enter the sky over Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., numerous squadrons around base will work together to ensure that the sky and jets soaring through it are safe for surging.
A surge is an outlet utilized by fighter wings to catch up on flying hours that may have been lost due to weather or other conditions.
In a normal week, 20th Fighter Wing pilots are scheduled to fly over 300 sorties and gain approximately 400 flight hours.
Throughout the surge week there were more than 600 sorties and 800 flying hours executed by the 20th FW.
Throughout this week’s surge Airmen across base, ranging from the petroleum, oil, and lubricant flight to air traffic control, will work over 12 hours to ensure that pilots are safe during the demanding surge week.
“As a pilot it can be very tasking and tiring,” said Major Corydon Jerch, 79th Fighter Squadron F-16 pilot. “It is even more difficult for the maintainers and logistics Airmen being outside for long periods of time.”
Although these Airmen endure the heated climate of the flightline, there are some benefits to working these hours.
Throughout the surge Airmen built on their skills, from marshalling an F-16 for fueling, to supplying fuel quickly and efficiently.
“At the end of the day, all of the work we do out here helps us find our weaknesses, if any, when performing maintenance on an F-16,” said Senior Airman Zachary Hobbs, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron tactical aircraft maintainer.
The long hours are intended to help give Airmen a better understanding of the 20th FW mission: providing combat ready air power and Airmen to meet any challenge anytime, anywhere.