Red Flag’s Blue Screen of Death

Aircraft maintainers confronted computer threats on the flightline for the first time at Red Flag 14-1 at Nellis AFB, Nev., officials said. “What we’ve done is created what we call a ‘contested, degraded, or operationally limited’ environment” for maintainers launching, recovering, and prepping aircraft, said Maj. Christopher Vance, 414th Combat Training Squadron maintenance boss. “It’s designed to prepare our airmen for what they may face in a major combat environment,” he added in a Feb. 12 release. Maintainers use computers to verify procedures are done correctly, as well as to document completed maintenance on the Air Force’s maintenance integrated data access system. “If the computer doesn’t work, they create a workaround,” said CMSgt. Gerard Liburd, 366th Airborne Expeditionary Wing senior maintenance superintendent at Red Flag. “This training is necessary for our maintainers. This is a new Air Force, and we need to be prepared for all types of threats,” he added.