5-star service for the 4-stars

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
Members of the 310th Airlift Squadron have a unique role in the overall mission of "rapid global mobility...unmatched installation support" at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

They specialize in providing "five-star service to the four-star generals" to include all seven of the Combatant Command commanders.

This 60-manned squadron is made up of pilots, flight attendants, flight engineers and communication system operators. Although it is a small tenant unit, the mission is described by many as a "mission of much respect."

"The four aircrew members work as a team to ensure that there is flawless execution and allow commanders to sustain command and control abilities while airborne," explained Senior Master Sgt. Sedric Roberson, former 310th AS flight operations superintendent. "For us here at the 310th, teamwork is fundamental in accomplishing the mission."

In order to ensure that service, each team member has a major role.

First off, flight engineers are responsible for monitoring the aircraft engine and control systems during flight. They also perform pre- and post-flight inspections on the aircraft, along with accomplishing many of the aerospace maintenance, loadmaster and other functions while away.

Meanwhile, the communication systems operators are responsible for providing the generals with all communication outlets while airborne, to include computer, network and telephone access. It is crucial that the generals are able to maintain proper communication during their travels.

"One of the most challenging parts of the job is getting the support necessary to keep communication open during flights," expressed Maj Ryan Goodlin, 310th AS pilot. "Therefore, we really value the hard work of our comm operators. They have a very difficult task of high importance." 

However, without trusted pilots it would be challenging for the comm systems and the flight engineers to do their job. 

The pilots are vital to ensuring proper mission planning and managing mission execution. They enable flying and also act as aircraft commanders, who are responsible for ensuring safe, comfortable and reliable mission execution.

"Safety, comfort, and reliability are the core values that Airmen at the 310th live by," conveyed Roberson. "It is extremely rewarding to see how the mission is accomplished from cradle to grave and to know that we can proudly say that we have a 98 percent reliability rate."

Lastly, flight attendants have an intricate part in completing the mission by making sure that the generals receive five-star service while in flight.

Like their fellow aircrew members, the flight attendant's job begins before the aircraft leaves the ground, with meal planning, shopping and prepping.

Together, Airmen of the 310th AS are very experienced, hardworking and busy completing approximately 58 missions a month.  

"We give the generals that control the wars throughout the world leadership flexibility," voiced Goodlin proudly.

Remember that every Airman is important in the U.S. Air Force and play a vital role in completing the overall mission, not only of Team MacDill, but in protecting our country.