The Air Force flying units in Southwest Asia draw daily on the expertise of a cadre of USAF mechanical engineers who can design on-the-spot structural repairs for the SWA-engaged aircraft, reports Air Force journalist TSgt. Stephen Staedler. Currently USAF’s depot liaison engineers in Southwest Asia are 1st Lt. Jake Depapasse, 1st Lt. Jeffrey Newcamp, and 2nd Lt. Mark Eilertsen. Their expertise enables them to “go a little bit above and beyond” what is covered in aircraft technical orders, says Newcamp. They work hand in glove with sheet metal airmen, producing replacement parts for airframes long out of production, whose increased flying hours in harsh conditions are producing unique problems.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.