Scott Air Force Base News

Aircrew Flight Equipment ensures Scott Airmen return home safely

Staff Sgt. Christian Dixon, 375th Operations Support Squadron aircraft operations NCO in charge, restocks a C-21 with safety equipment Nov. 13 at Scott AFB. Aircrew Flight equipment is responsible for making sure that aircraft have all the appropriate safety equipment necessary to keep aircrew and pilots safe. Photo by Airman 1st Nathaniel Hudson
Staff Sgt. Christian Dixon, 375th Operations Support Squadron aircraft operations NCO in charge, restocks a C-21 with safety equipment Nov. 13 at Scott AFB. Aircrew Flight equipment is responsible for making sure that aircraft have all the appropriate safety equipment necessary to keep aircrew and pilots safe. Photo by Airman 1st Nathaniel Hudson

The 375th Operations Support Squadron’s aircrew flight equipment flight is responsible for making sure that Scott AFB aircrew have the equipment they need to fly their missions safely.

“AFE is working on lifesaving equipment that goes on the aircraft in the event of an emergency,” said Tech. Sgt. Levi Higdon, 375th OSS AFE craftsman. “This is the equipment that people rely on when they’re experiencing the worst day of their life.”

AFE is working on lifesaving equipment that goes on the aircraft in the event of an emergency. This is the equipment that people rely on when they’re experiencing the worst day of their life.

Tech. Sgt. Levi Higdon, 375th OSS AFE craftsman

The five-man aircrew flight equipment shop is responsible for repairing, maintaining and supplying equipment for all aircrew on Scott AFB. This includes oxygen masks, parachutes, life preservers, radios and survival kits. They are also responsible for providing oxygen tanks used by the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron for patient care.

“Every day we have to prep the aircraft for every mission that goes out, every single mission that flies on the C-21 we have our hands on,” said Staff Sgt. Christian Dixon, 375th OSS aircraft operations non-commissioned officer in charge. “We have to make sure all the equipment is on there and the inspection cycle is within the appropriate time.”

The job isn’t just about supplying and maintaining equipment, but also making sure the people using the equipment are properly trained on of its use during an emergency.

“We instruct four of our AFE classes such as Aircrew Familiarization, Aircrew Chemical Defense Ensemble, Aircrew Flight Equipment Sizing Event and Initial Familiarization,” said Tech Sgt. Joseph Dufault, 375th OSS AFE craftsman.

AFE personnel ensure that everyone flying in a Scott aircraft can be confident that their equipment won’t fail them.

Every day we have to prep the aircraft for every mission that goes out, every single mission that flies on the C-21 we have our hands on. We have to make sure all the equipment is on there and the inspection cycle is within the appropriate time.

Staff Sgt. Christian Dixon, 375th OSS aircraft operations NCO in charge

“Some of us have experienced when someone has had to use our equipment,” said Higdon. “The pure gratitude they have when they come in after that mission and say ‘that piece of equipment really saved my life ...’ It’s a big highlight to our day.”

AFE can be a demanding job, but it’s also rewarding working in such a close-knit shop, and seeing how the job they do is helping keep fellow Airmen safe, he added.

“My favorite part of working AFE and it being such a small shop is the camaraderie we have here and knowing that when people are having their worst day they know that the equipment that we work on is going to bring them home,” Higdon said.

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