HomeNewsArticle Display

Aviator helps pilots fly in Big Sky Country

Tech. Sgt. Michelle Bresson performs a pre-flight inspection Nov. 5, 2014, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Bresson is a 40th Helicopter Squadron special missions aviator and her responsibilities typically include keeping the pilots advised of anything that is going on with the aircraft – if there are any malfunctions with the aircraft, the aviators are the system experts. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua Smoot)

Tech. Sgt. Michelle Bresson performs a pre-flight inspection Nov. 5, 2014, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Bresson is a 40th Helicopter Squadron special missions aviator and her responsibilities typically include keeping the pilots advised of anything that is going on with the aircraft – if there are any malfunctions with the aircraft, the aviators are the system experts. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua Smoot)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)

When people see helicopters flying, many may imagine just the pilots in the helicopter soaring through the sky. But, there is more to a successful flight than the pilots alone.

Tech. Sgt. Michelle Bresson, a 40th Helicopter Squadron special missions aviator, has been assisting helicopter pilots at Malmstrom Air Force Base for nearly five years.

Her responsibilities typically include keeping the pilots advised of anything that is going on with the aircraft. If there are any malfunctions with the aircraft, special missions aviators are the system experts. They are the ones that are going to be giving pilots advice on what could possibly be going wrong.

"We have to be the voice of reason in the back of the aircraft," Bresson said.

Bresson's day typically starts with her getting to work and checking the flight schedule to see which aircraft are flying that day.

After finding out the aircraft her crew will be on that day, Bresson performs a pre-flight inspection on the aircraft and any equipment that needs to be inspected prior to take-off.

A preflight inspection consists of checking all of the moving parts of the aircraft that can be touched, predominately the rotor system, Bresson said.

During the inspection, Bresson makes sure everything on the aircraft that needs to be secured is secured.

"I make sure there's nothing binding or loose that shouldn't be," Bresson said.

To conclude the pre-flight inspection, Bresson checks the general security of certain parts, while also going through and checking the outside of the engines and the inside of different panels making sure everything is ready for flight. She then returns to the squadron to check the weight and balance of the aircraft, check the scheduled departure and landing times and meet with any crew members who will be a part of the flight during a pre-mission brief prior to take off.

During an average week, Bresson and the pilots fly anywhere from three to five sorties.

Being a special missions aviator is Bresson's second job in the Air Force. Bresson, who has been serving for 12 years, would consider this job her favorite.

"I enjoy getting out and seeing Montana and getting to work with our pilots, tactical response force members and particularly enjoy (performing) search and rescue missions," Bresson said.

One of the more memorable missions Bresson has been a part of would most likely be her first search and rescue mission, she said.

Her first mission was during the Fourth of July weekend four years ago. Bresson and her team rescued a 21-year-old male who fell down a muddy embankment and injured his leg during his bachelor party. The individual spent 24 hours in the embankment before Bresson and her team reached him.

Once they arrived, they were unable to land their aircraft, so they dropped a Stokes Litter to extract him from the area. The on-flight doctor placed the individual on the litter, the crew then hoisted them both up and then transported the individual to an airport in Missoula, Montana, where they were met by an ambulance. The individual made a safe recovery and walked down the aisle a few days later on his wedding day on crutches.

Bresson grew up in Great Falls, Montana, before joining the Air Force.

"I was overjoyed when I found out I was getting to come back here," Bresson said. "It was my first choice of assignments."

When selecting the jobs she wanted to retrain into, Bresson knew she wanted to work on helicopters.

"I wanted to come back to Great Falls, but more than anything I wanted helicopters," Bresson said.

When putting in for retrain, Bresson knew there was no guarantee she was going to get a job working on helicopters.

"I didn't realize until I put in for retrain and wanted helicopters that there were helicopters at Malmstrom AFB," Bresson said. "So when I found that out, I knew for sure this is where I wanted to go.

"Finding out about getting my first choice assignment and getting to come back (to her hometown) on my dad's birthday was exciting," Bresson added.

Bresson enjoys being back in her hometown performing a job she is proud of.

"I feel like I actually get to give back to the community more," Bresson said. "I feel that there is a more directed impact on what I am doing more than just putting an aircraft into the sky."

Engage

Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Our Airmen, Guardians, and Civil Servants have much to be proud of—their actions saved lives in Afghanistan and our country…
Twitter
#Airmen from the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load a Mk-62 Quickstrike naval mine onto a B-52 Stratofortress d… https://t.co/jaPVcg9tWa
Twitter
#DYK Today is not only Labor Day, but also #NationalReadABookDay? @GenCQBrownJr curates a Leadership Library contai… https://t.co/uITBg82KvC
Twitter
Today is #LaborDay. This holiday is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American worke… https://t.co/qijLG5cjBI
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: This Labor Day, I want to highlight a couple of our teammates at the Pentagon that help us accomplish our mission. Thank yo…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Happy #LaborDay! Today, we celebrate both the achievements and resilience of America’s workers. https://t.co/3f8CBUkmqA
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thank you for all you do for our great nation and Air Force. Happy Labor Day Weekend, stay safe. https://t.co/5L67tcVYcl
Twitter
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center plans to expand its Rapid Airfield Damage Repair training, by opening two more… https://t.co/fAKDYzIn0v
Twitter
Staff Sgt. Angela Martinez is an @EielsonAirForce operations manager by trade, but during a Base Resiliency Exercis… https://t.co/NEkZLjMRtY
Twitter
The Air Force Test Pilot School graduated its Enlisted Test Professional Course for the first time since 2018. The… https://t.co/fnDQKAtcQ0
Twitter
Within 24 hours, @RamsteinAirBase's Southside Fitness Center Annex was transformed into a field hospital, complete… https://t.co/VQwoIV29EU
Twitter
710th Security Forces Squadron Airmen stationed @Buckley_SFB, Colo., conducted heavy weapons training at Fort Carso… https://t.co/wbpjoAKXXo
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: As we begin our Labor Day weekend, remember to lookout for your wingman, spend some quality time with your family and fri…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: As members of the nation’s Armed Forces, our Airmen and Guardians must be able to respond to situations around the globe—be…
Twitter
Slooooooow it down U.S. military members prepare for the beginning of Thracian Summer 2021 at Cheshnegirovo drop zo… https://t.co/OatiVE6j7F
Twitter
RT @AFSOUTH: #AFSOUTH vice commander, Brig. Gen. Sean Choquette, co-piloted a @FuerzaAereaCol AH-60L Arpia helicopter today as part of exer…
Twitter
Department of the Air Force announces mandatory COVID vaccine implementation guidelines for Airmen, Guardians. https://t.co/Arfo5d4yOe
Twitter
An @AFTestCenter engineer used his expertise in building drones to develop a system that brings the Benefield Anech… https://t.co/DKBVA8Isqa
Twitter
As technology swiftly evolves, so do #USAF cyber Airmen. Cyber leaders have embraced @GenCQBrownJr's vision of ac… https://t.co/cLaxcdvAeq
Twitter
The @AusAirForce joined forces with U.S. #Airmen to participate in RED FLAG-Alaska 21-3 at @EielsonAirForce, Alaska… https://t.co/lEHHU5OAst
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
1,373,166
Follow Us