CE units combine forces to catch planes
By Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 16, 2013
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Airmen from the 460th Civil Engineer Squadron and 140th CES, Colorado Air National Guard, received assistance from the 200th RED HORSE, Ohio Air National Guard, to install two Barrier Arresting Kit-12 systems April 12 on Buckley's flightline.
The team of power production Airmen assembled and installed the BAK-12 systems during a five-day span.
"We did it in a short timeframe. Everyone started on Monday, and we had the certification run on Friday. We saw all inclement weather conditions, from snow to high winds, and zero visibility," said Master Sgt. Joshua Barnett, 140th CES power productions NCO in charge.
The barrier systems were installed on Buckley in preparation for upcoming flightline construction.
The BAK-12 is an emergency stopping system for tail-hook equipped aircraft to prevent crashes and give assurance to pilots should their aircraft experience maintenance issues.
The system consists of a cable stretched across the flightline that is attached to the braking mechanisms on both sides. As the aircraft engages the system, the braking mechanism will slowly apply pressure until the aircraft comes to a stop.
After the week-long assembly, the BAK-12 proved it was capable of stopping a 29,000 pound F-16 Fighting Falcon traveling at a speed of more than 100 mph.
"The most rewarding part was seeing the plane hit the catch line. When I first went out there it was a patch of grass and a flightline. We got to see what we had worked so hard to do," said Senior Airman Taquan Kelley, 460th CES power production journeyman.
Eight Airmen from the 200th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers provided Buckley's power production teams with manpower, assets and expertise.
"This effort is a great example of leveraging guard and active-duty assets to complete a mission. Installing two Barrier Arresting Kit-12 systems in one week is not easy. The entire team of power production and heavy equipment personnel should be proud of their achievement and how well they were able to integrate operations," said Maj. Gibb Little, 460th CES operation flight commander.