Execute Operations: Supplying flight, survival gear

Airman 1st Class Steven Snyder, 51 Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journyman, performs Aircrew Contamination Control Area processing training with Staff Sgt. Leshane Jackson, 51 OSS aircraft flight equipment craftsman and acting pilot, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 16, 2015. The ACCA line is a special chemical contamination processing line where aircrew members would have to process through after a flight if chemical agents are suspected to be present in the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Airman 1st Class Steven Snyder, 51 Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journyman, performs Aircrew Contamination Control Area processing training with Staff Sgt. Leshane Jackson, 51 OSS aircraft flight equipment craftsman and acting pilot, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 16, 2015. The ACCA line is a special chemical contamination processing line where aircrew members would have to process through after a flight if chemical agents are suspected to be present in the area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Staff Sgt. Billy Debord, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment craftsman, inspects a pilots helmet at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 16, 2015. The aircrew's flight equipment is inspected three hours before the first flight to ensure the equipment is in working condition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Staff Sgt. Billy Debord, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment craftsman, inspects a pilots helmet at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 16, 2015. The aircrew's flight equipment is inspected three hours before the first flight to ensure the equipment is in working condition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Senior Airman Mark Peterson, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, attaches a four line release lanyard onto a parachute at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 20, 2015. The four line lanyards are used to help ster the parachute as well as relese air from the canopy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Senior Airman Mark Peterson, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, attaches a four line release lanyard onto a parachute at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 20, 2015. The four line lanyards are used to help ster the parachute as well as relese air from the canopy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Senior Airman Mark Peterson, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, paints the date of installation onto a parachute at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 20, 2015. This date is used a referance for when the parachute was first put into service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Senior Airman Mark Peterson, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, paints the date of installation onto a parachute at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 20, 2015. This date is used a referance for when the parachute was first put into service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Senior Airman Brian Sanchez, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, attaches a reefing line onto a parachute at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 20, 2015. The reefing line helps to prevent the canopy of the parachute from inflating too quickly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Senior Airman Brian Sanchez, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, attaches a reefing line onto a parachute at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 20, 2015. The reefing line helps to prevent the canopy of the parachute from inflating too quickly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Senior Airman Mark Peterson, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, measures the length of the four line lanyard at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 20, 2015. Each part of the parachute requires to be at certain meaurement to ensure it deploys properly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Senior Airman Mark Peterson, 51st Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, measures the length of the four line lanyard at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Jan. 20, 2015. Each part of the parachute requires to be at certain meaurement to ensure it deploys properly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- This is the fourth in a series of articles relating an overview of the mission at Osan Air Base. The major role Team Osan plays in the Republic of Korea and the extent of its mission will be showcased this week in the way Team Osan's Airmen "Executes Operations." Next week, there will be in-depth look at how the base receives forces. Concluding the series will be a wrap-up article with a video showing the broad spectrum of the base's mission.

Flying missions are an everyday occurrence here at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The pilots flying these missions rely on having working flight gear as well as all the proper survival gear needed if they were to ever eject from the aircraft. The Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment ensures all the flight and survival gear is provided and is functioning properly.

AFE inspect, maintain, repair, and issue the necessary equipment for aircrew members to be able to accomplish each mission safely. This includes the helmets, G-suits, oxygen masks, parachutes, and survival kits that contain life rafts, flashlights, compass, matches, fishing kit, and multipurpose utility knife.

Each flying squadron has AFE members in charge to inspecting the aircrew's flight gear before they fly. Flight gear is inspected three hours before the first flight to guarantee the equipment is ready for that day of missions.

"Everything that the pilots wear we have hands on it," said Staff Sgt. Billy Debord, 51st OSS aircrew flight equipment craftsman. "They rely on us to make sure the gear they use to fly is good to go and if they were to ever go down, then their survival gear is working right as well."

The main part of the shop takes care of packing the parachutes and survival kits. Each parachute takes a whole duty day to pack. After each step the parachute gets inspected by a seven level to confirm that it is on the right track to be packed properly. Every parachute being packed requires certain measurements on the various parts to make sure the chute deploys properly.

"They have a certain measurement because they have to operate a certain way," said Senior Airman Mark Peterson, 51st OSS aircrew flight equipment journeyman. "The parachute deploys so quickly and every measurement that we take is absolutely crucial to the operation of these parachutes."

Not only are they in charge of the normal flight and survival gear used for each flying mission, AFE also manage the special chemical flight gear pilots use when there is a chemical attack. After flight missions where chemical agents may be present, pilots would need to process through a special chemical line called the Aircrew
Contamination Control Area. The AFE members would be the ones to decontaminate the pilots and process them through the line safely.

It is vital that the flight gear the pilots use are in top order so it has the ability to save their lives when required. Peterson said AFE is an important part of the mission because of the effect the equipment has in protecting and safeguarding the pilots.

"We want them to be able to return to their friends and families safely," said Peterson. "I feel we put a lot of work and detail into each piece of equipment so the pilots go up there and know that they are safe just in case something were to happen to them."

The mission at Osan would not be executed the same without the equipment, safety, and insurance the 51st OSS AFE provide to the pilots.