HomeNewsArticle Display

Helping F-35A pilots operate, survive at Red Flag

388th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment shop, works on flight equipment, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Feb. 5, 2019. AFE Airmen manage, check and prepare gear pilots need to fly and also survive in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Tech. Sgt. Anthony Farnsworth, 388th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment shop, works on flight equipment, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 5, 2019. AFE Airmen manage, check and prepare gear pilots need to fly and also survive in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

388th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment shop, works on flight equipment, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Feb. 5, 2019. AFE Airmen manage, check and prepare gear pilots need to fly and also survive in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Staff Sgt. Brandon Cunningham, 388th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment shop, works on flight equipment, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 5, 2019. AFE Airmen manage, check and prepare gear pilots need to fly and also survive in the event of an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- The F-35 Lightning II is lethal and survivable in almost any environment, but it’s just a machine, unable to do anything without a skilled pilot. Those pilots need gear to interface with the jet, operate and survive.

Outfitting the pilots is the job of the Airmen in the 388th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment shop. A handful are currently deployed to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for Red Flag 19-1.

Red Flag is the Air Force’s premier combat training exercise where units from across the Air Force join with allied nations in a “blue force” to combat a “red force” in a variety of challenging scenarios over three weeks.

“I love it,” Tech. Sgt. Anthony Farnsworth said. “We like Red Flag because we get to focus entirely on the job here just like we would if we were actually deployed.”

Farnsworth and his team show up hours before the mission begins and work on checking and preparing anything and everything pilots need to fly the jet or survive in case of an emergency – jackets, harnesses, G-suits, oxygen masks, helmets, survival kits and parachutes.

“I love being part of the F-35 program, because it’s new and advanced” Airman 1st Class Ryan Joplin said. “The helmet is really integrated with the jet and the pilot. We’re responsible for keeping up the helmet and we’re the first one they come to for help.”

As Joplin inspects helmets, Airman 1st Class Henri Steel uses a compressor to pump air into a G-suit to ensure it can withstand the pressure.

“They need this G-Suit to work. These bladders fill up with air and compress around their legs to keep their blood circulating so they don’t lose consciousness when they’re pulling Gs,” Steel said “I know what I’m doing is important.”

All of the Airmen say that while the job is rewarding and they know they have a direct impact on the mission, the thing they enjoy most is their relationship with the pilots.

“We get to see them on a day to day basis, communicate with them,” Joplin said. “It’s nice to relate to them as humans rather than just as uniforms.”

Engage

Twitter
.@RamsteinAirBase welcomed 200 volunteers sent by the German military in support of Operation Allies Refuge during… https://t.co/GsAf6EQzi4
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, we will never forget. #PatriotDay #NationalDayofServiceandRemembrance https://t.co/PfGXl…
Twitter
.@TeamMinot, N.D., hosted Operation Road Warrior for its #Defenders and Wyoming's @90thMissileWing security forces… https://t.co/xnFRoierGT
Twitter
Today, we recognize Patriot Day and remember the thousands of lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. We acknow… https://t.co/BMgNcZ9fuE
Twitter
Multinational students and #AirForce instructors from around the globe came together to learn and expand on allied… https://t.co/1qtqi9OrN2
Twitter
Throughout August, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, @grandslamwing operated as a transit hub for Afghan refugees evacuated… https://t.co/amVMg8VqlE
Twitter
The #AirForce released its 2021 assessment on how states support Air and Space Force families. The evaluation measu… https://t.co/bseHKsXUzM
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A message from @USAirForce & @SpaceForceDoD senior leaders leading up to 9/11: "We will never forget the nearly 3,000 in…
Twitter
Findings from the Department of the Air Force Inspector General Independent Racial Disparity review have been relea… https://t.co/zUZyNB2gT4
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall on the two disparity reviews released today by the Department of the Air Force: "[This] isn’t the end of a…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Our continued commitment of honesty and transparency to the women and men of the Air Force and Space Force remains unwaveri…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: We must continue to listen to our people, understand what they are experiencing, and receive their feedback as we take st…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Department of the Air Force released updates on its first Racial Disparity Review & the results of a second, expande…
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force released a progress update on the Inspector General Independent Racial Disparity Re… https://t.co/yStaRW3ZA9
Twitter
Innovators and thought leaders gathered at the AFWERX Innovation Hub in Las Vegas, Nevada, to review technologies t… https://t.co/Oozq4M1Xek
Twitter
Air chiefs and senior enlisted leaders from the Indo-Pacific region gathered for the Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium a… https://t.co/E3nzEm18If
Twitter
A new technology being directed for use by all @USAF_ACC installations. The Command and Control Incident Management… https://t.co/ovEDVVTYAB
Twitter
Airmen and Guardians selected for a permanent change of station can now access automated family member travel scree… https://t.co/fGbTPuieaz
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,374,676
Follow Us