HARM office receives prestigious career-field award

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(U.S. Air National Guard Photo/Staff Sgt. Heather Davis)

TUCSON, Ariz. — The 162nd Wing Host Aviation Resource Management office celebrated receipt of the career-field’s top honor, the Sergeant Dee Campbell Outstanding Aviation Resource Management Large Unit of the Year for the Air National Guard during the wing’s annual awards ceremony Sunday, April 11.

“We’ve never received this award before, so it’s pretty special for us” said Master Sgt. Marc Gooding, NCOIC of the wing HARM office.

More than 90 units across the Air National Guard compete for this award each year; receiving it is an honor especially in light of the unique aspects of this wing’s Aviation Resource Management offices, said Senior Master Sgt. Lisa Pos, superintendent of the wing HARM office.

“We are one of the most diverse ARM work centers in the Air National Guard, having the same career-field components as active duty,” said Pos.

Most Guard units combine the various ARM components into one office, whereas the 162nd ARM offices are stand-alone and service the largest number of pilots, flight hours and missions in the Guard, she said.

“We’re just as big as the active duty offices, but we’re doing our job with significantly fewer resources,” said Pos.

The wing has 25 ARM personnel who manage the largest operations group in the Air National Guard. With aircrew personnel numbering well into the mid 200’s, nearly one-third of which are international student pilots, the unit accrues more than 13,000 flight hours and 15,000 missions each year.

“What we are able to do with the small amount of aircrew personnel we have compared to the large amount of training we do is incredible, and speaks volumes for the aircrew personnel themselves,” said Pos.

The wing also has numerous types of aircraft with various aircraft series, and aircraft that fall under two different Major Commands. This requires ARM personnel to maintain significantly more records to accommodate the different types and series of aircraft, in addition to the different sets of MAJCOM rules. The 162nd is also the only unit throughout the Air National Guard immersed in foreign military training, which adds yet another unique variance, and challenge, for ARM personnel across base.

The multitude of requirements and structure of the ARM offices put a heavy burden on younger troops, said Pos, but everyone does an exceptional job.

Aviation resource managers maintain the vast quantities of aviation requirements that ensure the safety and reliability of Air Force pilots. ARM specialists are instrumental in assuring aircrew and parachutists maintain proper physical and physiological standards, keep current on training, flying standards and basic aviation requirements, process orders, maintain flight authorizations, schedule aircrew aircraft sorties, maintain mission information and much more.

It can sometimes be a thankless job, said Gooding. Aircrew personnel just want to fly, but we’re the ones who are making it happen for them. It feels really good to be recognized for something we do every day, but often gets overlooked because of its necessity. We appreciate the high-level recognition from the National Guard and our commander, he said.

“I’m proud and I think everyone is very proud of this accomplishment,” said Pos.