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Airfield management providing clear runway

by 2nd Lt. Nancy Kuck
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

04/10/03 - OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (AFPN) -- An increased operations tempo means busier traffic on the runways used by the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing at a forward-deployed location. But thanks to the 380th Operations Support Squadron's airfield management team, the airfield environment remains clear and safe for base people.

Only two months into operation, the airfield management team provides daily inspections of the taxiways and runways, ensuring safety for everyone who works on the flightline.

"We are looking for everything from birds to grass," said Tech Sgt. Scott Parrish, chief of airfield management. "We look for faded taxiway lines, broken runway lights, foreign object debris and any obstacles that may be a safety concern for aircraft that use the runway."

The three-person team works around the clock on matters ranging from inspections to working with the host-nation people regarding flight planning issues.

Significant discrepancies and hazards found during daily inspections are quickly assessed. Depending on the situation, airfield management coordinates with safety and maintenance workers or civil engineers.

The Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard program remains a high priority on the flightline. With the safety officer as the program manager, the airfield management team watches over potential BASH obstructions every day.

Parrish works with Staff Sgt. Theresa Valdez and Senior Airman Chris Adams and is grateful for their work.

"It is great to have good people working together and they have done a lot so far," said Parrish.

One program being created by the airfield management team involves driving on the flightline. The program will ensure people driving on the flightline are properly trained about procedures and dangers on the runway.

As the airfield management team is busy supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, their job remains critical in keeping all aircraft traffic flowing safely in and out of the base.

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