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Aircrew Flight Equipment Specialists, Keeping Pilots Safe

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 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)

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)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif --

Before a plane takes off, pilots need to make sure they are set with the equipment necessary for any situation. 9th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment specialists are responsible for ensuring pilots have the lifesaving tools needed to avoid a potentially devastating scenario.

“Our mission as aircrew flight equipment specialists is to protect and serve our fellow aircrew members. We do this by making sure all their equipment is up to date,” said Airman 1st Class Joshua Chatman, 9th OSS aircrew flight equipment specialist. “We inspect and maintain their gear regularly to ensure all their equipment is in perfect working condition.”

When inspecting or maintaining equipment, these specialists give their full attention to what they’re working with, paying close attention to fine details. A pilot’s safety is their number one priority, for that reason aircrew flight equipment Airmen have a system in place to make sure nothing is overlooked.

“We use a property management system called the Defense Property Accountability System (DPAS) where we put in all inspections and maintenance conducted on flight equipment,” said Staff Sgt. Dominique Robinson, 9th OSS aircrew flight equipment specialist. “Every Friday we run our overdue list to make sure we didn’t miss anything.”

Oxygen masks, oxygen tanks, parachutes, g-suites, helmets, and survival kits are just a portion of the wide variety of equipment these professionals maintain.

“Every piece of equipment we work with is vital to a pilot’s wellbeing,” said Chatman. “Inspecting and maintaining the equipment we work on is important, because if I don’t take my job seriously a pilot might not go home to see his family.”

Aircrew flight equipment Airmen know the importance of their job and the role they play in keeping pilots safe. The equipment these airmen work with, provides pilots with the safety and security necessary to achieve the 9th Reconnaissance Wing’s mission to provide superior reconnaissance in support of national objectives.