86 Airfield Support Utilities Flight During COVID 19

From left to right: Sgt Argueta, Cpl Lacoste, MCpl Byrne, Pte Milligan, Avr Barbeau
Publication Date 
31 May 2020

Written By: Capt Mahon

Photo By: Sgt Zehr

The Aircraft Arresting Systems (AAS) Section of the 86 Airfield Support Utilities (ASU) Flight plays an essential role in the operation success of the RCAF CF-18. During the uncertain times following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Canada and around the world, the AAS Section was tasked with preparing two sets of Mobile Aircraft Arresting Systems (MAAS) and two sets of Mobile Runway Edge Sheaves (MRES). The MAAS is installed in conjunction with the MRES on either side of the runway, with a cable stretching across the runway itself. This cable provides an emergency stopping capability to the CF-18 by catching the tail hook of the aircraft and slowing it to a complete stop. The gear can be engaged during a failed take off or an emergency landing as required to try and safely stop the plane.

Five members of the 86 ASU AAS Section worked diligently in March to ensure continuity of support to the CF-18 during the first phase of the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) imposed at 8 Wing Trenton. The teams mission focussed mindset allowed them to complete the necessary work ahead of schedule, while limiting the risk of possible infection by maintaining social distancing and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided to them by 8 Wing. This maintenance work often involves a collaborative team approach which was still carried out in a safe manner with all restrictions in place. Thanks to the hard work of the team, two sets of MAAS and MRES are now prepared and ready to deploy across Canada or around the world to support Canada’s CF-18s at a moment’s notice.

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