AGE Airman keep skies full
By Senior Airman Hannah Landeros, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 16, 2013
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Airmen from the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment shop are responsible for maintaining the equipment that supplies electricity, hydraulic pressure and air pressure to each aircraft.
To prevent using fuel and having the engines run during preflight inspections aerospace ground equipment is maintained by the AGE shop and is used to check for faulty systems before takeoff.
"Aircrafts are dependent on our equipment to detect malfunctions," said Senior Airman Michael Haig, 379th EMXS AGE specialist deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas and a Constableville, N.Y. native. "Then we can fix an aircraft before it goes in the air and potentially breaks down."
Airframes fly nearly 24/7/365 at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, and AGE must be available at any moment to ensure mission accomplishment.
Generators, air conditioners, hydraulic test stands, air compressors and munition lifts, make up AGE and like all mechanical systems, they require maintenance explained Haig.
When the equipment fails to provide power to the aircraft, it is sent back to the AGE shop for repairs. Before equipment can go back on the flight line it must undergo troubleshoots, inspections, repairs and operational tests.
Aerospace ground equipment maintainers follow a technical order to ensure that all of the equipment is assembled correctly before use. Technical orders provide instructions for safe and effective operation and maintenance for each piece of equipment.
The 379th AEW flies 30 percent of U.S. Air Forces Central Command's daily air tasking orders making multiple aircraft and multiple airframes dependent on AGE, Haig said.
Staff Sgt. Cornell Martin, 379th EMXS AGE specialist deployed from Dyess AFB and an El Paso, Texas native said, "It saves a lot of wear and tear on the aircraft when we use our equipment instead of powering up the planes to run diagnostics. If something breaks on a generator, it's a lot cheaper and easier to fix than it is to breakdown the aircraft."
Providing power to aircraft for preflight checks is a vital part of the mission to stay airborne explained Martin.
"Seeing the jet take off and knowing that they got off the ground means we did our part," said Martin.