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Pre-Flight Preparation with Aircrew Flight Equipment

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jim Bentley
  • 332d Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron

Aircrew Flight Equipment consists of Airmen who service multiple squadrons, who specialize in the inspection, maintenance, and fitting of the equipment required to safely execute flying missions. This involves conducting pre-flight and post-flight inspections on all of the equipment, and encompasses everything from safety gear to weaponry.

Their inspections range from visual inspection to breaking down and rebuilding equipment. Some examples of the equipment they maintain are helmets, oxygen masks, torso harnesses, anti-gravity suits, survival vests, radios, and optical devices. 

“We are a mission essential element to sortie generation,” says Tech. Sgt. Yabumoto, 389th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge. “Where maintenance generates aircraft, we generate aircrew. You can’t hope to establish air superiority without anti-gravity garments keeping you from passing out during combat maneuvers, or oxygen systems that allow you to fly above ten thousand feet.”

Master Sgt. Michael Seymour, 332d Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, says that the signaling, communication, survival equipment and weaponry that they provide can protect a pilot even if their plane goes down in hostile territory.

“The 389 EFS AFE in particular, provides operational equipment that enable them to execute the mission at the level needed to deter regional aggressors, counter violent extremist organizations, and compete strategically,” says Seymour.  “In the event of a pilot’s worst day, the 389 EFS AFE ensures the emergency egress capabilities with their ACES II personnel recovery and drogue parachute installed in the ejection seat that will fill our career field motto ‘The Last to Let You Down.”