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Airman 1st Class Joshua Chatman, 9th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment specialist, places a strain relief cord back into an oxygen mask hose after cleaning it out, Jan. 22, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. To ensure oxygen masks are properly functioning, aircrew flight equipment specialists inspect them every 30 days. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)
Airman 1st Class Maggie Breedlove, 9th Operations Support aircrew flight equipment specialist, measures and cuts Velcro pieces that will be placed in the inside of a flyers lightweight helmet, Jan. 22, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. These pieces of Velcro will attach an energy absorbing liner to the helmet. The purpose of an energy absorbing liner is to reduce impact energy to the head of a pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)
Wrenches lie in an aircraft mechanic’s toolbox at Beale Air Force Base, California, Jan. 27, 2020. Mechanics are vital to ensuring the readiness of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance flying operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Valentina Viglianco)
Wesley Dietrich, 9th Maintenance Operation Squadron aircraft mechanic, runs an air speed test on a T-38 Talon at Beale Air Force Base, California, Jan. 27, 2020. A group of civilian contractors prepare T-38s for their daily flying schedules by refueling and inspecting the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Valentina Viglianco)
Wesley Dietrich, 9th Maintenance Operation Squadron aircraft mechanic, looks into a T-38 Talon cockpit during an air speed test at Beale Air Force Base, California, Jan. 27, 2020. This test measures the aircraft’s speed with a static tube system, which can determine the speed of the air flowing around the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Valentina Viglianco)
Wesley Dietrich, 9th Maintenance Operation Squadron aircraft mechanic, clicks a switch on a pressure-temperature test device at Beale Air Force Base, California, Jan. 27, 2020. The T-38s are part of the Companion Trainer Program for U-2 Dragon Lady pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Valentina Viglianco)
Wesley Dietrich, 9th Maintenance Operation Squadron aircraft mechanic, looks into a T-38 Talon cockpit at Beale Air Force Base, California, Jan. 27, 2020. The T-38 is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles because of its ease of maintenance, elevated performance, and exceptional safety record. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Valentina Viglianco)
Wesley Dietrich, 9th Maintenance Operation Squadron aircraft mechanic, plugs a cable into a pressure-temperature test device during a T-38 Talon maintenance at Beale Air Force Base, California, Jan. 27, 2020. This device tests the aircraft’s airspeed, which is a measurement of the aircraft’s speed relative to the air around it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Valentina Viglianco)
Wesley Dietrich, 9th Maintenance Operation Squadron aircraft mechanic, climbs down stairs during a T-38 Talon repair at Beale Air Force Base, California, Jan. 27, 2020. The 9th MOS plans and monitors the long-term health of not only the T-38, but also the U-2 Dragon Lady and RQ-4 Global Hawk. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Valentina Viglianco)
Wesley Dietrich, 9th Maintenance Operation Squadron aircraft mechanic, tightens a nut and bolt on a T-38 Talon at Beale Air Force Base, California, Jan. 27, 2020. The maintenance was part of an air speed test, which is a measurement of the aircraft’s speed relative to the air around it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Valentina Viglianco)

Chief's Corner

I am an American Airman

Too often I hear the statement, “The Air Force has no tradition…certainly not like the other services.” Or there’s the comment, “The Air Force changes everything all the time.  New uniforms, AFI’s, etc….how can we expect to maintain any heritage or tradition?”
I submit there is one decisive, deliberate, and motivating action each of us can take.  No matter the position you hold, the grade you wear, or if you are active duty, guard, reserve, retired, every single one of us can implement this small, yet powerful change today.  The change refers to a facet of our current culture.
Malcolm Gladwell speaks about culture change in his book, ‘Tipping Point’.  In his book, the author posits that even the smallest adjustments to habits, routines, or attitudes can have a significant impact on the culture or perception of an organization, population, or product.
Therefore, I challenge everyone to stop referring to members of our Air Force as ‘TROOPS’. 
According to Merriam-Webster, the primary definition of the word troop is:
a. A group of soldiers
b. A cavalry unit corresponding to an infantry company
c. A flock of mammals or birds
I understand a definition is literal, however, there are two problems with the way we throw this term around to refer to our Airmen.  First, the word troop is actually plural…referring to a group of soldiers.  Lastly, and most poignantly, the word troop is actually rooted in a tradition and heritage of another service.  And before we start the “But Chief, we were born out of the Army” conversation, I would ask you to consider a few points. 
We were born out of the Army for a reason.  We fulfill several needs that no other organization can: to keep up with advancing technology and to take warfighting to an entirely different level, both geographically and mentally.  The Army and Navy were long-time competitors for military leadership and neither service thought that the other should take on the new tasks of strategic deterrence missions associated with the advent of the atomic bomb.  This, along with many other great reasons, is why our Air Force, and our AIRMEN were created.
Think about it.  The United States Air Force was created for some of the most sophisticated warfare challenges of the time. 
So, let’s continue the tradition born in 1947 and call each other what we truly are.  Please, call me Airman.

Chief Hall

 

 

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9th MXS AGE Flight, Essential to Providing Superior Reconnaissance

Senior Airman Sierra Garcia, 9th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment apprentice, tightens a nut on the battery of a TLD air conditioning unit, Jan. 7, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. The 9th MXS AGE flight inspects, repairs, modifies, and delivers over 500 pieces of equipment worth around $23 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Senior Airman Sierra Garcia, 9th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment apprentice, tightens a nut on the battery of a TLD air conditioning unit, Jan. 7, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base, California. The 9th MXS AGE flight inspects, repairs, modifies, and delivers over 500 pieces of equipment worth around $23 million. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Senior Airman Miguel Fraire, 9th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment technician, and Senior Airman Sierra Garcia, 9th MXS AGE apprentice, inspect the oil on a generator, Jan. 7, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base California. These professionals play a big role on helping the 9th Reconnaissance Wing accomplish its mission by providing the needed equipment to requesting units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Senior Airman Miguel Fraire, 9th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment technician, and Senior Airman Sierra Garcia, 9th MXS AGE apprentice, inspect the oil on a generator, Jan. 7, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base California. These professionals play a big role on helping the 9th Reconnaissance Wing accomplish its mission by providing the needed equipment to requesting units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Senior Airman Alec Bowman, 9th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment apprentice, and Staff Sgt. Hunter Layton 9th MXS AGE journeyman, remove an AC cable head, Jan. 7, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base California. AGE works with equipment ranging from air conditioning units to equipment that supplies electricity, hydraulic pressure, and air pressure to aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Senior Airman Alec Bowman, 9th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment apprentice, and Staff Sgt. Hunter Layton, 9th MXS AGE journeyman, remove an AC cable head, Jan. 7, 2020 at Beale Air Force Base California. AGE works with equipment ranging from air conditioning units to equipment that supplies electricity, hydraulic pressure, and air pressure to aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Airman 1st Class Calvin Wilkins, 9th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment journeyman, loosens a nut on an aircraft dolly to remove a strap, Jan. 7 2020 on Beale Air Force Base, California. AGE is a 24/7 operation that is divided into four sections; maintenance, inspection, service and delivery, and support. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

Airman 1st Class Calvin Wilkins, 9th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment journeyman, loosens a nut on an aircraft dolly to remove a strap, Jan. 7 2020 on Beale Air Force Base, California. AGE is a 24/7 operation that is divided into four sections; maintenance, inspection, service and delivery, and support. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luis A. Ruiz-Vazquez)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE Calif. --

Delivering superior reconnaissance capability in support of national objectives is one of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing’s main priorities. To accomplish this mission Beale is equipped with reconnaissance aircraft; the U-2 Dragon Lady, the RQ-4 Global Hawk, and aircraft that keep U-2 pilots proficient, like the T-38 Talon. Everyone plays a part in keeping these aircraft in the air, but it all starts on the ground with the 9th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment (AGE) flight.

“Here at AGE we inspect, maintain, modify, deliver and repair all aerospace ground equipment that is used to support aircraft here at Beale” said Staff Sgt. Michael Yu, 9th Maintenance Squadron AGE floor lead. “We work with equipment that supplies electricity, hydraulic pressure, and air pressure to aircraft.”

The AGE flight is responsible for over 500 pieces of equipment worth around $23 million. To get the job done the AGE flight is divided into four different sections; maintenance, inspection, service and delivery, and support.

“What a typical day at AGE looks like depends on what section you’re in,” said Senior Airman Miguel Fraire, 9th Maintenance Squadron AGE technician. “The maintenance section preforms major fixes, inspection does preventative maintenance and minor fixes, service and delivery deliver the equipment to the requesting units, and support provides the tools needed to fix equipment.”

Without a doubt airmen at AGE play a big part in helping the 9th reconnaissance wing achieve its mission regardless of what section they are in.

“For me, the most rewarding part about being an Airman working at AGE is knowing what we do here supports Beale’s mission,” said Senior Airman Fraire. “Knowing that the aircraft wouldn’t take off without our support motivates me.”

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