It’s said when stakes are high, those who are calm prevail.
Airmen from the 56th Operations Support Squadron Airfield Management section know this all too well.
From picking up the smallest foreign object debris item to alerting the air control tower of a damaged flightline, airfield management members supervise and perform these functions to keep the airfield in proper order at Luke Air Force Base.
“We coordinate with aircrews, air traffic control and various base agencies for the safe operation of aircraft in the airfield environment,” said Tech. Sgt. Teresa Gaddis, 56th OSS Airfield Management NCO-in-charge. “We also inspect the airfields to ensure a safe operating environment.”
The Air control tower Airmen alert pilots prior to takeoff about airfield conditions, and advise if it’s safe to fly. They also check every aspect of the runway, even at night.
“At night we have to check the lighting fixtures on the runway to see if any are knocked over, in the wrong place or not working,” said Senior Airman Monica Casanova, 56th OSS Airfield Management shift lead. “We must also ensure the paint is visible to aircraft at night, so we don’t have any accidents. The paint itself has tiny little beads that are reflective.”
Long-term notices problems requiring more time to fix, such as cracking of the pavement, are relayed to the tower to ensure the proper agencies are contacted to fix the problem.
A common inspection conducted by airfield management staff is counting every bird on the flightline and adjusting the bird condition to low, moderate or severe.
“Airfield management performs mobile functions and activities for worldwide deployments for our aircraft,” Gaddis said.