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Projecting Forces Forward: TSgt. Marple

  • Published

For most people, the airfield is just a place where aircraft land and take off. But for Tech. Sgt. Anthony Marple, it’s a weapons system with the primary mission of Projecting Forces Forward.

Marple, who is assigned to the 375th Operations Support Squadron, is the NCO in charge of the Radar, Airfield and Weather System, or RAWS. His team operates the airfield and maintains the meteorological and radio equipment required to keep it running smoothly. The team is also responsible for most of the aircraft navigation equipment required for precision landings in any weather.

“Anything the air traffic control guys touch [is] my stuff,” said Marple.

One of the biggest new initiatives for RAWS is the reintroduction of local teams to perform maintenance. Previously, all flightline equipment was maintained remotely by the Regional Maintenance Center in Oklahoma City. Marple used to be part of the team that traveled coast to coast to airfields to fix issues until COVID hit with travel restrictions.

“We still had bases’ systems going down, and we couldn’t do anything.”

Since then, he has been working to shift the system back to local work centers repairing and maintaining their own base’s equipment instead of relying on an outside agency. This has meant training new members who have never had to maintain this equipment, as well as future-proofing both their equipment and infrastructure.

The balancing act of making sure the infrastructure is up-to-date and compatible with the latest and greatest equipment is a constant challenge for the RAWS team. Despite that, Marple hopes that his team can become trailblazers for other bases.

“We’re trying to lead the way and be the first ones to fully maintain all our systems and be 100 percent independent. If it goes down, we got it.”

Editor’s note: Project Forces Forward is just one of three Lines of Effort for the 375th Air Mobility Wing. The other two are Operate the Flagship and Seize Competitive Advantage. This series highlights Airmen who are supporting these missions.