908th OSS Aircrew Flight Equipment Technicians Keep Aircrew Safe

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shelby Thurman
  • 908th Airlift Wing

In the event of an emergency, aircrew and their passengers have to always be prepared with lifesaving equipment. That equipment has to not only be available, but it has to work. The Airmen who keep that equipment in tip-top shape are none other than the aircrew flight equipment technicians in the Aircrew Flight Equipment section of the 908th Operations Support Squadron at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

The AFE section members are responsible for all of the members of the aircrew and their passengers. The individuals on each flight require survival and life support equipment in the case of emergencies. This equipment ranges from helmets and oxygen masks to harnesses and c-cell radios. The list of lifesaving equipment goes on and on.

“The Aircrew Flight Equipment section provides a critical link between aircrew and aircraft systems,” explained Lt. Col. Diane Patton, commander of the 908th Operations Group. “AFE personnel issue, fit, repair, and maintain human-side flight equipment from individual items such as parachutes, helmets, and Night Vision Devices, to crew and passenger oxygen and life raft systems.

The 908th AFE ensures all wing-assigned aircrew are properly trained on this equipment in order to ensure survivability across multiple environments and flight regimes, to include Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) operations.”

The AFE section pays special attention to details to ensure that each piece of personalized equipment fits aircrew properly. This care also goes into checking the batteries of items like c-cell radios. What if someone is able to survive a crash but their radio does not work? Rescuers need to be able to get in contact with that aircrew member in order to get them back home. 

“It is very fulfilling to know that every day your job matters to the mission of the 908th Airlift Wing,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ralph Roy III, the superintendent of the AFE section. “We take our job very seriously because we help people survive and get back home safely.” 

Anytime a C-130 Hercules aircrew needs to perform a mission, they require all of these items to be in perfect condition and by their side. Without them, the 908th Airlift Wing would not be able to perform its tactical airlift mission.