RED FLAG-Alaska: G-suits and parachutes
By Airman 1st Class Issac Johnson, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 22, 2017
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Attention to detail is a concept ingrained in every Airman from the day they join the Air Force. Your boots must be perfectly aligned, your ribbon rack centered directly above your pocket. This valuable skill saves time, money and in certain situations even someone’s life.
For aircrew flight equipment personnel, attention to detail is of paramount importance because when everything else in an aircraft fails, a pilot’s lifesaving gear cannot.
“We make sure pilots don’t have to worry about their equipment while they’re flying and that’s important,” said Tech. Sgt. Warren Binyard, a 36th Fighter Squadron aircrew flight equipment specialist. “When they’re flying, they shouldn’t have to worry about their oxygen, parachute or any other equipment.”
During Red Flag-Alaska, pilots fly numerous training sorties; AFE Airmen help to make sure these pilots have successful sorties and can focus on the task at hand.
“We take care of all of the pilot’s flight equipment,” said Senior Airman Danny Lo, a 14th Fighter Squadron Aircrew flight equipment specialist. “Anything from helmets to G-suits we maintain it and make sure it’s working properly.”
Exercises like RF-A allow these Airmen to see a unique aspect of their job that they wouldn’t normally experience at home station.
“Since RF-A is a simulated war environment, the step time for the pilots is a lot quicker,” said Binyard. “Because of that we don’t get a lot of time to interact with them and we have to make sure all of their equipment is ready to go before they get here.”
These ops tempo benefits also transfer over to the foreign military forces that are participating in the exercise, and allow all countries to increase their interoperability by learning first-hand from each other.
“Working with the foreign military provides us an interesting opportunity to interact with each other,” said Binyard. “Both the Korean and Japanese flight equipment is very similar to our own, and it’s a unique opportunity to see how each squadron’s process is a little bit different or the same.”
Most people hope for the best, but the AFE Airmen of RF-A and their multinational counterparts, by paying the utmost attention to detail, ensure their pilots are prepared for the worst.