Aircrew flight equipment enables others to succeed
By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz, U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs
/ Published April 28, 2015
SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- At any given moment across Southwest Asia, there are aircraft flying in harm’s way to deliver aid, combat air support to friendly forces and launching air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists. None of them can accomplish that without the aircrew flight equipment (AFE) flight.
“Before the aircrew can do their job, we have to ensure all the life support equipment is ready to meet the demands of their mission,” said Staff Sgt. Scott, expeditionary operations support squadron AFE technician. “It has to be good to go, otherwise they may not be able to support others who need it.”
The AFE flight is divided in to sections to support different aircraft. Each section has their own unique set of equipment, but they all have one common goal, keeping people alive.
“Our equipment must be serviceable,” Scott said. “If our gear fails, whether it’s a bad seal on a mask or faulty wiring on a microphone, it could be the difference if someone comes home at the end of day or not.”
Every day the AFE flight performs multiple checks on several aircraft, ensuring oxygen masks, floatation devices, night vision, cargo straps, life preservers and personnel recovery kits are serviceable.
“We’re a vital link in the chain here. We make sure the equipment the aircrews have are ready to help them survive,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael, the EOSS, AFE superintendent. “If we can get their footprint to 10 meters instead of three football fields, we can get our guy out of a bad situation fast.”
Ensuring multiple assets are ready to go at a moment’s notice is top priority for the AFE flight and has led to positive experience for the men and women who work there.
“I have my eyes on everything,” Scott said. “When I put my name on something, I know it’s good to go. We’ve had no delayed missions. We’re making a difference here and there’s a huge sense of pride in that.”
(Editor’s note: Due to safety and security reasons, last names and unit designators were removed.)