ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England, Feb. 12, 2018 —
Getting a multimillion-dollar F-15 Eagle aircraft safely airborne and back down again takes coordination across many different career fields.
On the ground here and operating behind the scenes, the 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment airmen are one of the integral pieces of this puzzle.
"We have a saying, '[There’s] no airpower without ground power,'” said Air Force Senior Airman Eric Alaniz, a 48th EMS aerospace ground equipment journeyman.
AGE airmen maintain equipment such as generators, heaters, floodlights and bomb lifts, which are essential for crew chiefs and other flight line airmen to do their jobs.
‘We Take Care of the Equipment Used on the Flight Line’
"We take care of the equipment used on the flight line,” said Air Force Airman 1st Class Hannah Christensen, 48th EMS AGE technician. “We maintain it, we inspect it and, when it breaks, we fix it.”
One of the important aspects of maintaining well-functioning equipment involves completing biannual inspections. The inspections allow AGE airmen to proactively find and fix potential issues before they become problems, thereby keeping all of the equipment in top working order.
"There's periodic inspections, Phase One and Phase Two,” Christensen said. “In a Phase One, it's usually just checking all the filters and looking over each part of the unit and making sure it's good. Phase Two will take multiple days, because you have to be very thorough."
Keeping the equipment in good condition allows AGE technicians to ensure that flight line airmen, such as crew chiefs, always get the equipment they need to take care of the 48th Fighter Wing’s aircraft.
“We can’t do our job without AGE,” said Air Force Senior Airman Joseph Rogel, the 494th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief. “We have to do [operations] checks for every flight that we do. Without the proper equipment, that job can’t get done.”