A proper airfield makes for the best operations

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zachary Nordheim
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

To launch jets at a moment’s notice, you need a safe and operational flight line at all times. The 325th Operations Support Squadron airfield management flight serve as the caretakers of critical flight line assets and keep Tyndall’s flight line prepared for real world contingency operations.

With the reactivation of the 95th Fighter Squadron and the expected stand up of two additional fighter squadrons, flight line activity will be at an all-time high for the 325th Fighter Wing.

“We have to get here an hour before the airfield opens in order to inspect the entire flight line,” said Senior Airman Kaybren Harrison, 325th OSS airfield management shift lead. “We run multiple checklists for the various operations happening on the flight line and push that information out to pilots. This includes navigational aid, runway statuses and managing contractors working on the flight line and more.”

Not only does the team oversee all flight line activity, but as Tyndall continues its transition into the “Installation of the Future,” all construction projects that may impact airfield conditions must be approved by airfield management to ensure designs will not impact flight line operations and safety. Due to an influx of construction around the base, there is a higher demand for waivers, construction permits and airfield driving capabilities for contractors.

When airfield management isn’t on the flight line, they are operating out of the “heart” of their office, the front counter. This is where their team receives phone calls, mission requests for aircraft coming in and out, and handle working with outside agencies that need to complete their airfield driving tests, explained Kaybren. Additionally, these Airmen are responsible for communicating with the air traffic control tower, weather and other units to maintain readily available information for keeping pilots and Airmen informed of the conditions of the airfield so flight operations run smoothly.

“The Air Traffic Control tower controls air traffic while Airfield Management maintains the airfield,” said Staff Sgt. Christian Romanello, 325th OSS airfield management supervisor. “Due to the extent of each of these career fields, it would be overwhelming for one job to take on the additional responsibilities of the other.”

The airfield management flight also provides support for exercises like the Weapons System Evaluation Program, Checkered Flag, all transient aircraft movements throughout the entire year and anticipating deployment support for the 95th FS.

“Overall, I love watching the jets take off, and without us, who’s going to run the airfield and get flights off the ground safely and efficiently,” said Romanello.

Whether they’re out on the flight line maintaining a proper and functional airfield or at the counter pushing out information for Airmen and pilots, the 325th OSS airfield management flight continues to uphold their squadrons moto of “No Knights, No Flights”.