Airman Spotlight: Staff Sgt. Joshua Basquez

Air Force photograph by Scott Dworkin

Staff Sgt. Joshua Basquez fires a special noise-making pistol to scare away birds located around one of Edwards AFB’s runways. This is done to prevent birds from striking aircraft.

Job description and its impact on the overall mission:  We touch every mission that flies out of Edwards.  Our biggest job is to provide a safe, functional airfield for the test wing, which includes pavements, signs, markings lighting systems, and minimizing the possibility of bird and animal strikes to aircraft. We lead construction and repair projects, collaborating with Army Corps of Engineers, 412th Civil Engineering Group, flight safety, and contractors, doing our best to complete work without interference to flight operations. We provide specialized airfield expertise to the [combined test forces] when doing such things as wet runway testing, etc. We also perform emergency responses to in-flight emergency recoveries, file flight plans for aircrews, post safety notices to Airmen about airfield conditions and regulate transient aircraft access to the airfield.  We’re a huge member of the team who makes flight test happen!

Time in the military: 8 years, 6 months

Time at Edwards AFB:  2 years

Family: Staff Sgt. Virginia Basquez, son Justus Timothy “JT” Basquez

Hometown:  Hollister, Calif.

Hobbies:  Backpacking, sports, forging.

Why did you join the military? Education and to serve my country.

Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years?  Possibly becoming a first shirt or make chief master sergeant.

What do you do for fun here? Backpacking, visiting L.A. and Hollywood. I’ve gone to some cool conventions and to the beach, and visit Vegas!

What’s your favorite Air Force memory or story?  My wife and I worked in the same building for two years and only met her because she had an error on her line badge. We met in the waiting room of pass and registration. Best hour wait of my life!

What accomplishments are you most proud of?  Cross training out of maintenance.

Who is your role model?  President John F. Kennedy

How does your job help support the test and evaluation mission here at Edwards? My job is vital to the success of the mission here at Edwards. In addition to making the airfield safe we perform/initiate many functions that are not only vital to the mission, but enhance the ability to get the mission done. Airfield management is always at the center of all the test functions happening here at Edwards. It is our responsibility to ensure the airfield, including the lakebeds, is a safe place to operate and conduct these tests. We are always analyzing the airfield looking for ways to increase safety and functionality.

What is your dream job and why?  My dream job is actually airfield management. The Air Force gave me a chance to switch gears into a new job and I was fortunate enough to find something I love doing. I’ve always loved being around aviation and Edwards has, in my opinion, one of the most diverse spread of aircraft assigned to it.

What do you like most about Edwards? I love the fact that I can drive two hours and sit in the audience of Conan O’Brien, then the next day drive a couple of hours and snowboard, and then after that, I can close it all off  by driving down to Las Vegas.  I’ve never been to a base where there was so much to do. Only caveat is you definitely need a car.

If you won a million dollars, what is the first thing you would buy? I would buy an exact replica of the Iron Throne from the HBO series “Game of Thrones” and place it in my office.

What distinguishes Staff Sgt. Basquez from his peers?
“Josh takes his role at Edwards seriously and makes certain that everything he and the people who work for him do is accomplished correctly and professionally.  He’s displayed the work ethic and abilities of a SNCO, and at the moment, he’s filling such a role, serving as an assistant airfield manager due to a civilian vacancy in our section. He does what’s needed without being told and anticipates the needs of the airfield and test programs. Josh has qualities you’d wish every NCO had!” -David Sampson, 412th Operations Support Squadron, airfield manager