Propulsion flight keeps jets in the Air

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – An engine from an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft sits in a cradle before a test run Aug. 21, 2013. During a test run of the engine, the propulsion flight checks for any leaks as well as monitor the vibrations of the engine. Fuel and oil leaks have to potential to cause external fires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – An engine from an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft sits in a cradle before a test run Aug. 21, 2013. During a test run of the engine, the propulsion flight checks for any leaks as well as monitor the vibrations of the engine. Fuel and oil leaks have to potential to cause external fires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Airman Jeremy Rushing, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion technician from Charleston S.C., secures a filter with safety wire Aug. 8, 2013. The propulsion flight conducts stress tests on engines to make sure they can handle what pilots put them through. The F-16 fighting falcon fighter aircraft engine puts out 29,000 pounds of thrust. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Airman Jeremy Rushing, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion technician from Charleston S.C., secures a filter with safety wire Aug. 8, 2013. The propulsion flight conducts stress tests on engines to make sure they can handle what pilots put them through. The F-16 fighting falcon fighter aircraft engine puts out 29,000 pounds of thrust. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Mosley, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion craftsman from South Orange, N.J., and Staff Sgt. Michael Murphy, 52nd CMS aerospace propulsion craftsman from Dallas, check fluid levels and engine vibrations of an  F-16 fighting falcon fighter aircraft engine Aug. 8, 2013. Oil samples are taken from the engine to look for any debris that might be inside. Airmen also look for fuel and oil leaks during inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Mosley, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion craftsman from South Orange, N.J., and Staff Sgt. Michael Murphy, 52nd CMS aerospace propulsion craftsman from Dallas, check fluid levels and engine vibrations of an F-16 fighting falcon fighter aircraft engine Aug. 8, 2013. Oil samples are taken from the engine to look for any debris that might be inside. Airmen also look for fuel and oil leaks during inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Douglas Melton, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion craftsman from Altus Okla., tightens a bolt on an F110-100 engine Aug. 8, 2013. Testing every part of the engine is crucial to keeping aircraft fully mission capable. Spangdahlem also tests engines from Aviano Air Base, Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st. Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Douglas Melton, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion craftsman from Altus Okla., tightens a bolt on an F110-100 engine Aug. 8, 2013. Testing every part of the engine is crucial to keeping aircraft fully mission capable. Spangdahlem also tests engines from Aviano Air Base, Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st. Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kelly Miller, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion craftsman from Quakertown Pa., lowers a F110-100 engine onto an engine 3000 transportation trailer Aug. 8, 2013. After an engine is inspected at the test cell shop, it is then sent back to the main propulsion flight for a final quality check. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kelly Miller, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion craftsman from Quakertown Pa., lowers a F110-100 engine onto an engine 3000 transportation trailer Aug. 8, 2013. After an engine is inspected at the test cell shop, it is then sent back to the main propulsion flight for a final quality check. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kelly Miller, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion technician from Quakertown Pa., performs an intake and exhaust inspection on an F110-100 engine after a test run Aug. 8, 2013. During this inspection Miller looks for any foreign object damage or unserviceable parts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kelly Miller, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion technician from Quakertown Pa., performs an intake and exhaust inspection on an F110-100 engine after a test run Aug. 8, 2013. During this inspection Miller looks for any foreign object damage or unserviceable parts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – An engine from an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft sits on a thrust stand after a test run Aug. 12, 2013. This engine can produce 29,000 pounds of thrust. The 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron Propulsion Flight performs maintenance on engines from Spangdahlem and Aviano Air Base, Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – An engine from an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft sits on a thrust stand after a test run Aug. 12, 2013. This engine can produce 29,000 pounds of thrust. The 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron Propulsion Flight performs maintenance on engines from Spangdahlem and Aviano Air Base, Italy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – An engine from an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft is test fired at full augmentation Aug. 21, 2013. Stress tests are performed on F-16 engines to ensure that when it is installed in the aircraft it can handle various mach levels during flight. The F110-100 engine is capable of producing 29,000 pounds of thrust. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – An engine from an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft is test fired at full augmentation Aug. 21, 2013. Stress tests are performed on F-16 engines to ensure that when it is installed in the aircraft it can handle various mach levels during flight. The F110-100 engine is capable of producing 29,000 pounds of thrust. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The Air Force strives to always remain vigilant and mission ready for a full range of operations.

The Air Force maintains readiness by ensuring Airmen are fully trained and capable of carrying out mission objectives. The Airmen also keep vital resources available to them such as jet engines. By maintaining readiness, the Air Force is capable of countering a wide variety of challenges that affect U.S. national security.

The strategic location of Spangdahlem Air Base allows pilots to quickly reach threats across Europe and aims to maximize global reach.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem and Aviano Air Base, Italy, act as the air attack component of U.S. Air Forces in Europe. Thorough inspections and maintenance are required to keep the aircraft fully mission capable and ready to deploy whenever called upon.

The 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron is a supporting unit in charge of any component for the F-16 from both bases.

The 52nd CMS Propulsion Flight keeps those aircraft in the sky every day by stress testing, inspecting and performing maintenance on the engines. Their objective is to provide war-ready engines for the F-16.

"We test every parameter basically to ensure that when it [F110-100 engine] does get installed on an aircraft and it becomes air worthy and air borne, then it definitely withstands those mock levels, or whatever the pilot puts it through," said Tech Sgt. Jamie Barajas, 52nd CMS shift supervisor.

The propulsion flight refurbishes, inspects and carries out any maintenance for F-16 engines. They are responsible for fixing any anomalies before engines are installed into aircraft. Some of the key things they look for in their inspections are fuel and oil leaks, erratic temperature changes or the consumption of oil. These types of problems can cause the engine to burn out or start an external fire.

After stress tests and inspections, the engines are sent back to the main propulsion flight and go through a final inspection to be checked for quality.

"After 14 years in the Air Force, I'd have to say seeing that engine at full augmentation is the most awesome thing an engine mechanic could experience," said Barajas. "It doesn't get old."

Keeping engines fully capable to carry out any task a pilot may carry out is what the propulsion flight does every day. The Airmen that work on these engines are fully trained and qualified to handle a multitude of procedures. The Air Force is capable of countering a variety of threats because test cell Airmen maintain war-ready engines.