News

Gunfighter airfield management team ensures fighter jet safety

Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Swift, 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management operations supervisor, calls the air traffic control tower for clearance to cross the runway Nov. 30, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Swift and others from the airfield management team do daily checks for wildlife on the runway, cracks in the pavement and debris that could cause damage to aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren-Taylor Levin)

Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Swift, 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management operations supervisor, calls the air traffic control tower for clearance to cross the runway Nov. 30, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Swift and others from the airfield management team do daily checks for wildlife on the runway, cracks in the pavement and debris that could cause damage to aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren-Taylor Levin)

Airman 1st Class Sabrina Watson, 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management coordinator takes a photograph of a crack in the runway Nov. 30, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Once completing checks for cracks or debris on the runway the information is tracked in a log and submitted to the 366th Civil Engineer Squadron to be fixed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren-Taylor Levin)

Airman 1st Class Sabrina Watson, 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management coordinator takes a photograph of a crack in the runway Nov. 30, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Once completing checks for cracks or debris on the runway the information is tracked in a log and submitted to the 366th Civil Engineer Squadron to be fixed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren-Taylor Levin)

From Left to Right, Airman 1st Class Douglas Whitter and Sabrina Watson, 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management coordinators, fill out flight plans for pilots at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, on Nov. 29, 2017. The airfield management team has to complete and submit their flight plans for approval prior to pilots taking off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren-Taylor Levin)

From Left to Right, Airman 1st Class Douglas Whitter and Sabrina Watson, 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management coordinators, fill out flight plans for pilots at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, on Nov. 29, 2017. The airfield management team has to complete and submit their flight plans for approval prior to pilots taking off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren-Taylor Levin)

From Left to Right, Airman 1st Class Sabrina Watson and Maritza Rivera, 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management coordinators, practice an exercise training situation Nov. 30, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The airfield management team's main priority is safety for crewmembers and aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren-Taylor Levin)

Airman 1st Class Sabrina Watson and Maritza Rivera, 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management coordinators, practice an exercise training situation Nov. 30, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The airfield management team's main priority is safety for crewmembers and aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lauren-Taylor Levin)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- From daily pavement checks for aircraft movement to removing wildlife from an active runway, the Airmen of the 366th Operations Support Squadron airfield management flight are always alert.

“This is important because we make sure the airfield is safe, clear and clean to help the aircraft take-off and land,” said Airman 1st Class Douglas Whitter, 366th OSS airfield management coordinator. “We have different challenges that may happen during the day, but it’s our job to make sure it is taken care of in a timely matter.”

The airfield management team is responsible for flight planning for base-assigned aircraft, scheduling arrivals and departures of transient aircraft and multiple daily checks for any hazards, debris, or objects that could cause damage.

“Our main goal is safety on the airfield,” said Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Swift, 366th OSS airfield management operations supervisor. “If we aren’t alert at all times it could create a huge issue.”

To ensure safety across the flightline airfield management plays a key part in getting information to everyone working on the flightline.

“We communicate with the tower and they contact the pilots to inform them of potential hazards,” said Airman 1st Class Sabrina Watson, 366th OSS airfield management coordinator.

Even with their laundry list of tasks they have to complete before leaving for the day, these Airmen enjoy all the stories that come from the day-to-day job.

“I remember one day we were driving on the runway and I saw a coyote and I thought to myself, ‘oh my god, I got to get this animal out of here’,” said Airman 1st Class Maritza Rivera, 366th OSS airfield management coordinator. “Things like this just make my job enjoyable and interesting. I can’t get enough of it.”