Science and Technology News

Friday, January 24, 2014

Airfield systems Airmen maintain a smooth landing

by Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


1/24/2014 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- It takes more than air traffic controllers and pilots to safely launch and land aircraft. Air traffic controllers and pilots rely on extremely complex equipment.
Without the 374th Communications Squadron airfield systems maintaining this equipment, one malfunction could cause the entire flight line to shut down.

"Our equipment is complex and directly affects how the airfield operates," said Staff Sgt. Robert Miller, 374 CS airfield systems technician. "It is a big responsibility and vital to the overall mission."

One of the airfield systems Airmen maintain is the tactical air navigation beacon, which provides the pilots with bearing and distance to the runway. They also sustain the instrument landing system that guides the aircraft safely to the runway during low visibility conditions.

In addition to those systems, Airmen maintain radio equipment at the air traffic control tower, so that controllers can have clear communication with aircraft and the flight line.

With numerous equipment and systems to maintain, airfield systems Airmen are continuously performing preventative maintenance and inspections to ensure that systems are operating flawlessly and within standards according to Senior Airman Lucas Dugan, 374 CS airfield systems technician.

However, when parts break and equipment fails, Airmen troubleshoot until the equipment is back online and working properly.

"Troubleshooting problems can be time consuming and puzzling," said Senior Airman Jason Badia, 374 CS airfield systems technician. "But seeing how our efforts affect the mission is very rewarding."

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