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    AFE personnel keep pilots safe and ready

    AFE personnel keep pilots safe and ready

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Plyler | U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Gunnar Gebhardt, 52nd Operations Support Squadron...... read more read more

    SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Before a 52nd Fighter Wing F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft can launch and after every landing, 480th Fighter Squadron pilots rely on the 52nd Operation Support Squadron's aircrew flight equipment specialists to equip them for mission success.

    It's the job of AFE personnel to supply, inspect, prepare and repair flight gear.

    "I like that we are utilized and trusted with a major portion of the safety of the pilot's flight gear", said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Conley, 52nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment non-commissioned officer in charge. "From the oxygen gear to the night vision goggles, we try to make sure everything is correct and paid attention to."

    In September 2021, the 52nd Fighter Wing from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, executed a short-notice Agile Combat Employment to Leeuwarden Air Base, Netherlands. ACE is an operational concept that allows forces to operate out of multiple locations with minimal supporting infrastructure, and this was the wing's first ACE mission using a non-U.S. base.

    "Our ACE responsibility is pre- and post-flight inspections for daily flight", said Conley. "I think for us, ACE is a much easier way to mobilize. Also, as our focus is the flying mission, we can make sure everything is ready for war-fighting capabilities."

    During the employment, AFE personnel have a multitude of responsibilities to keep the aircrew ready, such as installing display units, making sure the communication system within the helmet works and checking over g-suits to ensure safe use.

    "AFE is crucial to the ACE mission because they allow us to rapidly deploy and execute the mission by ensuring we have the equipment we need to operate in any environment", said 1st Lt. Pittayut Phonboon, 480th Fighter Squadron pilot. "They are subject matter experts in the operation, use, and maintenance of our AFE gear and life support systems, and the team we have here at Spangdahlem are absolute professionals. They are always prepared and willing to lend a hand to get the mission accomplished."



    Date Taken: 09.24.2021
    Date Posted: 09.24.2021 04:01
    Story ID: 405951
    Location: NL

    Web Views: 28
    Downloads: 1