Flight engineers keep aircraft mission ready for global mission

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariette Adams
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Navigation systems, check; landing gear, check; hydraulics, check; flight controls, check. One by one flight engineers run through preflight checklists, making sure the C-37A Gulfstream aircraft is ready for flight.

In addition to accomplishing preflight, inflight and postflight checklists, ensuring the safety of the aircraft, they also act as aircraft maintainers when the Gulfstreams are performing missions to remote locations around the world.

“Flight engineers are trained to keep the mission going,” said Tech. Sgt. Ben Doyle, the NCO in charge of C-37A flight engineers assigned to the 310th Airlift Squadron.  “We've been trained with extensive systems knowledge to help troubleshoot maintenance issues, and prevent any delays during mission execution.”

Their technical expertise guarantees the aircraft is ready so the 310th AS mission can be completed.

“The 310th AS is responsible for providing safe, comfortable, reliable and connected worldwide executive airlift in support of U.S. combatant commanders and other senior leaders,” explained Doyle.

Here at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, the flight engineers operate three aircraft and provide worldwide airlift to the nation’s senior leaders.

To provide reliable worldwide airlift to senior leaders, flight engineers travel around the world with their aircraft to keep it ready at all times.

“Ensuring the aircraft is safe for flight for the duration of every mission affords each combatant commander the ability to fulfill his/her duty at the projected location,” said Master Sgt. Bill Strange, the flight chief for C-37A flight engineers assigned to the 310th AS. “For example, they can attend strategic level meetings with secure in-flight video teleconferencing.”

These Airmen provide engineering that allows senior leaders a portable office for making important decisions and takes them to needed locations to discuss national security issues.

In order to ensure combat commands can answer the nation’s call, flight engineers must be flexible and ready at a moment’s notice.

“The flying schedule can be unpredictable at times,” explained Doyle. “Sometimes short notice taskings come down, unexpectedly taking me away from my family for a couple days but supporting the mission and traveling with flying professionals makes it all worth it.”

Although their career can take them away from home, they thrive on their globetrotting.

 “My favorite part of my job is the opportunity to travel alongside dedicated professionals to unique locations around the globe,” explained Strange.

The flight engineers at MacDill are vital to the 310th AS mission. Their professionalism in their work allows military leaders to get to where they need to go and keep the military mission ready.