Military News

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

4th EMS AGE: Ground power maintains air dominance

by Airman Shawna L. Keyes
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


7/7/2015 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C.  -- "No airpower without ground power"

This is the motto of the 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron's aerospace ground equipment Airmen. The AGE flight is comprised of more than 70 Airmen who provide maintenance through inspections and upkeep on equipment to support flightline operations.

"We provide the vital support to the flightline to sustain all operations that are out there," said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Burgess, 4th EMS AGE assistant floor lead. "We support anything maintainers need to maintain and test the aircraft while it's on the ground."

The flight is divided into three different sections. Crews one and two work in the main shop and perform maintenance and inspections on all the AGE equipment. The third is the servicing section, which has approximately 18 personnel, known as drivers, located on the flightline.

Each crew is responsible for doing their periodic inspections and completing any maintenance that may have come in. The majority of the Airmen from each section conduct inspections while about three Airmen work maintenance.

In total, the flight is responsible for more than 600 pieces of equipment and averages about 1,200 equipment dispatches, 100 maintenance actions and 100 phase inspections every month.

The AGE flight conducts inspections and maintenance on a variety of equipment, to include: generators, hydraulic test stands, fuel tank dollies, self-generating nitrogen carts, floodlights, bomb lifts, air compressors, maintenance stands, canopy cranes, and cabin leakage testers.

All AGE equipment is used to conduct maintenance, troubleshoot, test and load munitions on the aircraft and without it the jet would not be able to get off the ground, according to Burgess.

"We maintain and inspect all our equipment so the crew chiefs have working gear to perform maintenance on the jet," said Senior Airman Tyler Roberts, 4th EMS AGE technician. "It's my favorite part of the job being able to fix things that are broken and get them serviceable again."

The Airmen assigned to the servicing section, the drivers, are each assigned to an aircraft maintenance unit and work around the clock to provide support to the flightline. If a piece of equipment cannot be serviced on the flightline, it is brought back to the main shop where one of the two crews service the equipment.

"They have this perception of us that all we do is change oil and send equipment back out on the flightline," Burgess said. "It's much more in depth. We change pumps, engines, electrical trouble shooting; everything they do out there on the flightline we do in here on our equipment."

Tech. Sgt. Barrett Reed, 4th EMS AGE readiness NCO in charge, said AGE Airmen have to know a little bit of everything in this career field to be successful and keep the more than 90 F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing operational.

"We work on such a diverse amount of equipment from base to base, so we have to be able to adapt to get the mission done," Reed said. "If flightline personnel are unable to provide power, cool air, hydraulic servicing or testing's, these jets could not be repaired and literally would not fly. You take AGE out of the equation and the jets aren't getting off the ground."

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