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Airmen assist with airfield readiness for flight safety

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Hudson
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Ensuring aircraft can safely take off and land from Scott Air Force Base requires around-the-clock support and flight line maintenance, and it’s Airmen from the 375th Operations Support Squadron airfield management team who make that happen.

“Our day-to-day [work] typically involves going onto the airfield and inspecting surfaces on the ground for hazards to ensure aircraft safety,” said Airman 1st Class Samir Ragih, 375th OSS airfield management technician. “Removing debris from the flight line daily is one of our most important duties because a missed piece of debris or foreign object can cause catastrophic damage to an aircraft.”

By conducting multiple checks to remove foreign objects and debris, commonly referred to as FOD, the airfield management team ensures aircraft operate safely. Being able to prevent these types of accidents ensures that the pilots, crew and passengers on the aircraft have a safe journey to and from Scott.

Many of these passengers include senior leaders, who frequently visit Scott AFB due to the base’s mission. In 2018, Scott hosted visits from Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright. 
The base is also home to U.S. Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command, and 18th Air Force, whose leadership becomes familiar faces for the airfield management team. 
“We set the first impression for anyone visiting Scott,” said Ragih. “Setting the tone for senior leaders who are visiting or traveling from our flight line is a huge responsibility, and one we don’t take lightly.”

The airfield management team also provides pilots and aircrew with all the information needed to make flight plans, which ensures they can leave the base and arrive at their next destination in the safest way possible. Planning tools such as “Notices to Airmen,” or NOTAMs, are important for pilots to plan a safe trip. NOTAMs include information such as closed runways, air shows, parachute jumps, and temporary flight restrictions.

Senior Airman Hayden Henson, 375th OSS airfield management technician, added that it’s important to give them this information correctly, which is why their technical school at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, requires 56 days of training for these tasks, along with flight data processing, emergency response actions and maintaining flight information data.