AGE keeps aircraft flying
By Staff Sgt. John Bainter, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 11, 2013
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --
Maintainers from the Aerospace Ground Equipment Flight, 1st Special Operations Equipment Maintenance Squadron, live by the motto: "Without ground power there's no air power." These Airmen maintain all the equipment required to keep aircraft maintained and mission ready.
The AGE flight has more than 60 personnel who repair, inspect and deliver more than 750 pieces of powered and non-powered support equipment required for aircraft maintainers to do their jobs properly and safely.
AGE maintainers in the flight work around the clock seven-days-a-week to ensure equipment is serviceable and ready for maintainers to use for servicing and repairing aircraft on the Hurlburt Field flightline.
AGE maintains an equipment ready line, which is a quick-access area located on the flightline stocked with power carts, air conditioning units, air carts and mobile lighting units which are always available.
"Without ground power, [or AGE], there would be no air power," said Staff Sgt. Robert Mullen, a 1st SOEMS floor supervisor. "They need our generators and our air conditioners for cooling the electrical systems. Basically without us, aircraft can't get off the ground."
AGE maintains their equipment while keeping up with the demanding operations tempo of the 1st Special Operations Wing.
"Air Force Special Operations Command's get-up-and-go plan is different than anywhere else, and you see more of the impact of what we do worldwide due to the nature of the AFSOC mission," said Senior Master Sgt. Jeffery DeRidder, 1st SOEMS superintendent of AGE production. "When we get called in we have to have our equipment processed and ready to ship worldwide wherever the mission needs within 12 to 24 hours."
The Airmen in the AGE section continue to service, maintain, and deliver everything required to make the mission happen. Without their mission's success there wouldn't be any sorties flown, troops delivered, or bombs on target. It's the knuckle busting work which takes place at the AGE flight which keeps the Air Force mission going.