Home : News : Article Display

AFE shop 'last to let you down'

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Francis, 811th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, cleans an HGU-56/P helmet on Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 26, 2015. Helmets are inspected every 90-days to ensure they are safe and in good condition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan J. Sonnier)

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Francis, 811th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, cleans an HGU-56/P helmet on Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 26, 2015. Helmets are inspected every 90-days to ensure they are safe and in good condition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan J. Sonnier)

Airman 1st Class Lacey McGee, 811th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, tests night vision goggles on Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 26, 2015. This 180-day inspection ensures they are operable and free from spots in the field of view. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan J. Sonnier)

Airman 1st Class Lacey McGee, 811th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, tests night vision goggles on Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 26, 2015. This 180-day inspection ensures they are operable and free from spots in the field of view. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan J. Sonnier)

Airman 1st Class Lacey McGee, 811th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, replaces parts on an HGU-56/P helmet on Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 26, 2015. Helmets undergo an inspection every 90 days to ensure they remain safe and operable. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan J. Sonnier)

Airman 1st Class Lacey McGee, 811th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, replaces parts on an HGU-56/P helmet on Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 26, 2015. Helmets undergo an inspection every 90 days to ensure they remain safe and operable. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan J. Sonnier)

Airman 1st Class Lacey McGee, 811th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, assembles a visor for an HGU-56/P helmet on Joint Base Andrews Md., May 26, 2015. Helmets undergo an inspection every 90 days to ensure they remain safe and operable.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan J. Sonnier)

Airman 1st Class Lacey McGee, 811th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, assembles a visor for an HGU-56/P helmet on Joint Base Andrews Md., May 26, 2015. Helmets undergo an inspection every 90 days to ensure they remain safe and operable. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan J. Sonnier)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The men and women of the 811th Operations Support Squadron are responsible for maintaining aircrew safety and survival gear.

"Our job slogan is 'we are the last to let you down,'" said Airman 1st Class Lacey McGee, 811 OSS aircrew flight equipment technician. "The aircrew members rely on our knowledge to make sure their equipment is good to go, so they don't have to worry about its condition."

Since the 811 OSS supports the 1st Helicopter Squadron's 24-hour operations mission for the National Capital Region, the equipment has to be mission ready at all times.

They maintain more than 400 pieces of equipment to include: helmets, night vision goggles and survival kits for more than 170 aircrew members.

"Night vision goggles allow aircrew to do their mission regardless of the time of day," McGee said. "I really enjoy working on them - breaking them down. I have a keen eye for detail; I like taking things apart and seeing just how they work."

An aircrew member's life may depend on the equipment one day.

"I fully trust the work of the AFE shop," said Capt. Emily Ladd, 1 HS pilot. "Once we leave the ground, there is no troubleshooting, everything has to be functional. If I'm in an emergency and need their equipment, there is no time to swap it out."

This may sound intimating for some, but it is the daily operations of the AFE Airmen.

For McGee, the most challenging thing is to not become complacent.

"I have to remember that my job has the potential to save lives and I have to be on my 'A' game to make sure that the aircrew members are in the best care," she said.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.