Joint Base Andrews

 

89th AW: the face of the Air Force

By Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham | 11th Wing Public Affairs | July 27, 2017

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md --

If the walls in the passenger terminal at Joint Base Andrews could talk, they might say they’ve seen some of the most influential people from around the world.

Each year, Airmen of 89th Airlift Wing flight line protocol office support more than 43,000 foreign dignitaries, with approximately 3,500 distinguished visitor taskings and more than 500 missions for the president, vice president, first lady, secretary of defense, secretary of state, and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

“As the flight line protocol office, we are the face of the 89th AW as well as the Air Force and the United States,” said 1st Lt. Sarah Turner, 89th AW flight line protocol officer. “We are the central hub for all communications and logistics that go into each arrival and departure for the distinguished visitors who fly in and out of JBA.”

For most of the Airmen, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet senior leaders and make lasting memories.

From President Barack Obama sitting down to a meeting with Pope Francis, to Vice President Joe Biden waiting out a rain storm, Staff Sgt. Katy McGlone has seen it all.

“This job has expanded my view of the Air Force,” said McGlone, 89th Airlift Wing NCO in charge of flight line protocol. “Before this job, I had very little knowledge of flight operations. Having more pieces to the puzzle, knowing how other areas operate and understanding their mission will only help me in the future.”

 

The flight line protocol office works with multiple agencies to complete their missions effectively, while maintaining the safety of those traveling.

As part of their unique role, the flight line protocol office can get an exact timeline of the departure and arrivals of high priority visitors, almost to the minute.

“Our office helps make their transition through the base and flight line smooth,” Turner said.  “We are the connecting factor between Secret Service, Security Forces, Customs and Border Patrol, and special air mission passenger, just to name a few.”

The office informs units of upcoming DV movements, allowing them to plan their supporting missions effectively, for example when 11th Security Support Squadron does a canine sweep or 11th Wing Public Affairs is required to escort media or provide documentation.

These Airmen are pivotal to the mission success of JBA and the leaders who use this as their major travel hub.