6th OSS RAWS Airmen ensure rapid mobility

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shannon Bowman
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


Aiding in the safe travel of military aircraft to and from locations is one of many ways radar, airfield and weather systems Airmen from the 6th Operations Support Squadron ensure mission success.

Responsible for air traffic and warning radar systems, fixed and deployable navigational aids, weather equipment and radios, 6th OSS RAWS specialists ensure that the equipment utilized by air traffic controllers and pilots is in perfect working order.

“We maintain equipment on base that is essential for the air traffic control tower to communicate with aircraft in flight,” said Airman 1st Class Kyle Fultz, 6th OSS RAWS technician. “Our role in maintaining these systems ultimately helps aircraft reach runways and land more efficiently.”

MacDill’s 6th OSS RAWS specialists install and maintain everything from air traffic control and weather equipment to ground control and navigational aids to ensure aircraft can be safely guided through takeoff and landing.

“We provide support to the air traffic control tower, command post, weather and base operations,” said Staff Sgt. Jahlani Harris, 6th OSS RAWS technician. “We work behind the scenes to make sure that these systems are up and running so that the base can ensure success during each mission.”

Driven to ensure MacDill’s mission accomplishment, the RAWS Airmen take pride in knowing that their expertise, skill and efforts contribute to the 6th Air Refueling Wing’s ability to provide unmatched air refueling support across the globe.

“MacDill is a global mobility wing so, in order for pilots to get to where they need to go, they need to know where they’re going,” said Harris. “We make sure that all of the base’s RAWS equipment are in working order, so aircrews will have the tools they need to identify where they are going and land as safely as possible when they arrive.”

With nearly 500 unique training tasks needed to complete upgrade training and obtain maintenance certifications, the Airmen of 6th OSS RAWS work constantly to make sure they are ready to execute their mission at a moment’s notice.

“In order to keep our certifications and do what needs to be done to complete our support mission, we train on a regular basis,” said Harris. “We conduct weekly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual training to make sure we are good to go whenever we need to.”  

Though the RAWS Airmen describe their career specialty as one of the Air Force’s lesser-known career fields, their support greatly contributes to smooth flight operations.

“We are probably one of the most obvious jobs that nobody knows about that helps aircraft fly,” said Fultz.