Friday, December 12, 2014

TOP STORY >> Runway regulators

By Airman 1st Class Mercedes Muro 
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

On the far west end of Chief Master Sgt. Williams Drive, airfield management sits hidden amongst the many buildings along the flightline. Located in the Base Operations building, airfield management is heavily relied upon to keep Little Rock Air Force Base’s airfield up and running. 

Since a variety of squadrons and units work on the flightline, airfield management governs the airfield and the flightline as a “jack-of-all-trades” to ensure all flightline operations are running smoothly. 

“We have to know a little bit about everything that goes around the airfield,” said Kerry Miller, 19th Operations Squadron airfield manager. “We have to know how units operate so we can keep the airfield clear.” 

Airfield management coordinates with the air traffic control tower, security forces, protocol and many other units that work on the flightline to ensure the airfield is safe to use.  Airfield management also oversees all vehicle traffic on the flightline. 

“What most people see us do is manage the front desk,” said Miller. “But we do so much more. If it’s on that airfield, we check it.”

When conducting a check, an airfield management Airman travels out to the flightline to complete their daily checklist. Airmen check for grass height, wildlife, water and foreign object debris. During the winter season, the flightline is checked for large amounts of ice and whether there is enough friction for the airfield to be usable. Twice a year checks are completed for paint markings on the flight line and rubber build up from aircraft tires. 

Airfield management received Air Mobility Command’s and the Air Force’s top airfield award in 2013. The shop is manned 24/7 by 12 Airmen and four civilians to keep up with the mission. 

“The shop runs very well,” said Miller. “We have a very good team of military members and civilians that work together.”

Although their presence may feel small, no one can deny that the role of airfield management is critical to mission success. 

 “Without our runway and our airfield, we have no mission,” said Miller. “It’s my guys who go out there and take care of that airfield. It’s the most vital piece pf property we have, and it’s our job to make sure it’s well taken care of.” 

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