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
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
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
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."