On September 20th, a certification test for the Mobile Aircraft Arresting System (MAAS) was conducted with the participation of a Turkish Air Force F-4 Phantom and U.S. Airmen from the 435th Construction and Training Squadron and the 39th Air Base Wing. This joint effort between Turkish and U.S. service members aimed to ensure compliance with safety and operational requirements.
The MAAS certification test involves simulating an emergency landing scenario where an aircraft with a tail hook engages an arresting cable to verify that the anchor points remain stable under the stress of such an operation. Turkish Air Force fighter jets stationed at Incirlik Air Base rely on this safety system in the event of in-flight emergencies that may prevent traditional landing methods.
U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Gallucci, the commander of the 39th Weapons System Security Group, explained that this test was the result of years of coordination and planning. They chose a Turkish Air Force F-4 for the test due to its locally assigned status and equipped tail hook.
This MAAS certification test is part of a broader project to expand the aircraft runway overrun capabilities. To maintain the runway’s full functionality during this construction phase, the 435th Construction and Training Squadron from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, was tasked with installing the MAAS.
Tech. Sgt. Cody Bourff, the supervisor of the 435th CTS Command Aircraft Arresting System Depot, mentioned that the Turkish Air Force required two barriers to remain in service throughout the construction phases. Therefore, their team deployed the necessary equipment to ensure the continuous operation of two barriers.
The 435th CTS barrier depot team specializes in constructing and installing MAAS systems across the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) area of responsibility.
Capt. Jed Langlois, the 435th CTS Command Aircraft Arresting System Depot flight commander, emphasized the importance of these systems, not only for the aircraft but also for the safety of the pilots. Preventing aircraft from crashing into the runway edge is crucial, especially considering the high value of the aircraft involved.
The MAAS certification test represents a significant milestone for the 39th Air Base Wing, marking progress toward their larger goal of improving the Incirlik Air Base runway and airfield. When completed, this runway overrun extension project will enhance flight safety for all aircraft and ensure compliance with stringent standards, allowing U.S. military, the Turkish Air Force, and NATO forces to operate in a secure environment.
The leadership at the 39th Air Base Wing takes pride in their collaboration with the 10th Tanker Base Command at Incirlik Air Base. This joint effort reflects their commitment to supporting military operations, projects, and missions for both the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and NATO, demonstrating their dedication to a ready, reliable, and responsive Incirlik Air Base.