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    Off into the wild blue yonder: OSS Airmen get a chance in the air

    Off into the wild blue yonder: OSS Airmen get a chance in the air

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead | U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alana Mullins, a 509th Operations Support Squadron radar,...... read more read more

    WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, MO, UNITED STATES

    05.04.2021

    Story by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead 

    509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

    WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – Less than 4% of active duty U.S. Air Force members are pilots, however, it takes hard work and dedication from the other 96% to ensure the safety, readiness, and operability of a successful mission.

    Not everyone gets a chance in the air, even in the world’s greatest Air Force.

    In an effort to familiarize Airmen with the aircraft they support the Air Force enacted Air Force Instruction 11-401 Flying Operations, which authorizes familiarization flights for Airmen with aviation-related responsibilities.

    The 509th Operations Support Squadron offers these familiarization flights in the T-38 Talon, which is used as a trainer aircraft for the B-2 Spirit. The Airmen are paired with an experienced pilot, for a chance to fly in the jet.

    These flights give the Airmen insight on the vital role their jobs play in aircraft operations.

    “The familiarization flights give my Airmen hands on experience with the effects of the G-suit and the importance of a properly fitted mask,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Heath, 509th OSS aircrew flight equipment commander. “It gives them tangible experience so when they are presented with equipment issues, they can use that experience in combination with their technical expertise and training.”

    One of the Airmen fortunate enough to receive this opportunity was U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alana Mullins, a 509th OSS radar, airfield, and weather systems technician.

    “The familiarization flight greatly broadened my understanding of my career field,” Mullins said. “It was especially enlightening to witness how the pilots use our equipment on their end.”

    A random selection is made from those in the squadron who are interested in participating and those who are selected get the chance to fly.

    “I consider myself extremely lucky since not very many people are able to get such an opportunity,” Mullins said. “I’ve always loved going on rollercoasters and the only thing better than that was flying in that jet. Now I'm just wondering, when I am supposed to get my very own call sign?”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.04.2021
    Date Posted: 05.04.2021 16:23
    Story ID: 395582
    Location: WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, MO, US 

    Web Views: 7
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN