AGE Airmen working behind the scenes

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Heather Stanton
  • 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 49th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment flight holds the Airmen behind the scenes who help get the planes flying. 

"Everything the crew chiefs use, we fix it," said Staff Sgt. Mitch Bisson, 49 MXS AGE technician. "We provide any of the equipment that gets the planes off the ground." 

AGE provides anything from -60 jet engine generators to light carts to air conditioners and heaters and all equipment in between to anywhere on base, for whoever needs it, he said. 

There are more than 50 Airmen in the Holloman AGE flight and all are considered mechanics, electricians, hydraulics specialist, etc., said Sergeant Bisson. They can do pretty much anything having to do with the aircraft because they maintain all the equipment needed. 

On a daily basis, these Airmen do phase inspections as preventive maintenance on the equipment, major maintenance when something breaks, and dispatch and drive equipment to where it is needed, said Sergeant Bisson. Not to mention, all the paperwork and organization that goes along with the more than 400 pieces of equipment. 

Monday mornings for AGE Airmen are filled with checking over all the equipment and making sure it is ready to use at a moment's notice, said Sergeant Bisson. Throughout the week, the equipment gets delivered to various places around base and Friday afternoons are spent gathering it all up again. 

With the days filled up, structured training is hard to get in, but they are always getting trained. 

Initial training is a 26-week technical school, five volumes of Career Development Course material and 15 months on-the-job training, said Staff Sgt. Adam Trigo, 49 MXS AGE technician. They also receive annual operations check and service training, but most is OJT learning out of the unit's owners manual. 

One person will have to take on a new piece of equipment, look though the owners manual and then train others, said Sergeant Trigo. 

The AGE Airmen also conduct periodic familiarization training to the people who use the equipment, said Sergeant Bisson. 

All the OJT the Airmen receive significantly helps them in deployed locations. 

"You need to know your job when deployed," said Sergeant Bisson. "There is no time to teach over there. Everything is critical and there is a constant need for equipment." 

Working behind the scenes doesn't give the AGE Airmen much of the glory that comes with working on aircraft, but they know they are the Airmen to go to when the aircraft needs to get in the air.