SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
With all the training and preparation F-16CM Fighting Falcons and their pilots have to go through, someone has to track the status and data required for a pilot to safely “step” out of the door and onto the flight line.
Aviation resource management Airmen take care of pilots assigned to all three Shaw fighter squadrons. Aviation managers track every pilot’s flight time and training events. Airmen come in three hours before takeoff to ensure pilots are cleared to step. This is to ensure pilot safety and success of the mission.
These Airmen work together as a team in order to get the mission done, which means they usually travel with pilots wherever they go.
“In the fighter squadrons, we have a lot of temporary duties and unusual schedules,” said Staff Sgt. Mason Hemmerlingvargas, 79th Fighter Squadron aviation resource management non-commissioned officer in charge. “I enjoy things changing up week to week and not having a set in stone plan every day. It’s exciting to not know what I will be accomplishing during the day until I do it.”
Aviation resource management Airmen are also some of the first faces people see when walking into a fighter squadron and they work as liaisons between individuals and pilots.
“Our job is important and I think sometimes people in the military don’t understand or feel as though they impact the daily mission, even though we all do,” said Airman 1st Class Rebecca Crockett, 77th Fighter Squadron aviation resource management journeyman. “Being able to see the direct impact we make is a really cool experience that some people will never have and it’s an honor to have that.”
Working side by side every day, aviation resource management Airmen and pilots build comradery and embrace each other as a family. This helps everyone to communicate and complete the mission smoothly.
“We are the last stopping point for a pilot to step to a jet to start the first part of the mission,” said Hemmerlingvargas. “We sit directly with them and have that open communication to make sure we keep them up to date on everything to complete the mission here at home and overseas defending the country.”