54th OSS weather flight ensures clear skies over Holloman

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Isaiah Pedrazzini
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Whether it’s ensuring that million-dollar aircraft embark in clear and safe skies, or broadcasting the ‘lightning within five’ announcement, the Airmen from the 54th Operations Support Squadron weather flight have it covered.
The 54th OSS weather flight has the important task of accurately informing all base personnel of weather forecasts, as well as providing pilots with present and future weather predictions to ensure they carry out their missions accordingly.
“This is a training environment,” stated U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Deshona Crowder, 54th OSS weather flight chief. “We need to ensure that we're able to relay timely, relevant weather information to our pilots.”
Holloman is uniquely located between multiple units including White Sands Missile Range, and nine local and tenant flying units. Collectively, the units operate six different aircraft all of which interact with the weather differently. According to Crowder, it’s the weather flight’s responsibility to know these limits and provide the data necessary to help them make decisions. 
“We serve the 311th Fighter Squadron, the 314th Fighter Squadron, all the RPAs, the 586th Flight Test Squadron and the Army Air Operations Directorate,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Zachary Travis, 54th OSS weather journeyman. “It's definitely important to make sure that our remotely-piloted aircraft squadrons and fighter squadrons get the most precise weather forecasts so they can make a determination of what they're able to accomplish for the day.”

Despite what many may think, there are a vast array of climates and environments surrounding Holloman AFB which can pose unique challenges the weather flight has to counteract by utilizing the skills they learned and adapting them in a new setting.

“Tech school is all theory, you learn how systems behave in a typical environment where it's flat,” said Crowder. “This isn't typical, this is atypical, and we take our Airmen through eight weeks of dedicated classroom training over familiarization with the local area.”

Rain or shine, the weather flight is watching around-the-clock ensuring our Airmen, Guardians and families are safe, prepared and able to maintain mission success.