Gunfighter airfield management team ensures fighter jet safety
By Senior Airman Lauren-Taylor Levin, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 01, 2017
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
From daily pavement checks for aircraft movement to removing wildlife from an active runway, the Airmen of the 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management flight are always alert.
“This is important because we make sure the airfield is safe, clear and clean to help the aircraft take-off and land,” said Airman 1st Class Douglas Whitter, 366th OSS airfield management coordinator. “We have different challenges that may happen during the day, but it’s our job to make sure it is taken care of in a timely matter.”
The airfield management team is responsible for flight planning for base-assigned aircraft, scheduling arrivals and departures of transient aircraft and multiple daily checks for any hazards, debris, or objects that could cause damage.
“Our main goal is safety on the airfield,” said Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Swift, 366th OSS airfield management operations supervisor. “If we aren’t alert at all times it could create a huge issue.”
To ensure safety across the flightline airfield management plays a key part in getting information to everyone working on the flightline.
“We communicate with the tower and they contact the pilots to inform them of potential hazards,” said Airman 1st Class Sabrina Watson, 366th OSS airfield management coordinator.
Even with their laundry list of tasks they have to complete before leaving for the day, these Airmen enjoy all the stories that come from the day-to-day job.
“I remember one day we were driving on the runway and I saw a coyote and I thought to myself, ‘oh my god, I got to get this animal out of here’,” said Airman 1st Class Maritza Rivera, 366th OSS airfield management coordinator. “Things like this just make my job enjoyable and interesting. I can’t get enough of it.”