One Team, One Fight!

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
The  6th Operations Support Squadron airfield operations flight was among one of the units recognized during the 2015 Unit Effectiveness Inspection as an Outstanding Team at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

The 6th OSS airfield operations unit is comprised of three shops to include airfield management, airfield systems and air traffic control, that work together to ensure that all flying operations are completed successfully.  These three shops are made up of 70 Airmen and together they are a valuable asset to MacDill's overall mission.

As the focal point for the airfield, a lot of the airfield operations mission impact rests on the shoulders of the 16 members of airfield management. From monitoring construction projects on the airfield to coordinating with the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron to fix defective pavement, airfield management enables a smooth transition from ground to air.

"The tower is one of the main counterparts, as we control the ground and they control the airspace," expressed Senior Airman Joshua E. Varnedoe, 6th OSS airfield management operations supervisor. "We coordinate any issues with taxi routes and flight planning. We work together to mobilize the fleet in the fastest, safest way possible. "

MacDill AFB's location is pivotal in many world affairs. From the tsunami that hit Haiti to the departure for many deployed locations, airfield management helps to enable a rapid and safe departure of all aircraft to help provide global support.

Alongside airfield management, the air traffic control shop's 43 members are responsible for ensuring all aircraft depart and arrive safely. In addition to guaranteeing that vehicle operations do not affect the aircraft involved, ATC is the focal point for ATC instruction, including clearances for taxi, takeoff, and landing. The controllers issue traffic alerts, disseminate weather information, and coordination for control transfer, relay flight information and emergency responses.

"We are in constant communication with airfield management," expressed Senior Airman Carrie B. Rickords-Mars, 6th OSS air traffic controller. "When it comes to coordinating times of arrivals and departing aircraft we work together and keep each other informed. We also coordinate equipment outages with airfield systems to ensure good working conditions for all that are involved."

The missing piece to this dynamic triangle is airfield systems. The 11 members that make up this shop play a vital role in maintaining airfield operations. Air traffic control and landing systems technicians are the technical experts on all ground systems, which involves maintaining and monitoring the status of all the ground equipment used to fulfill airfield operations.

Together these three entities make up airfield operations, which is most commonly known as base operations here at MacDill AFB. The members of the 6th OSS airfield operations show that there is no "I in team". 

The airfield operations personnel take pride in knowing that they're the best airfield operations team MacDill AFB has seen in years.

"It feels amazing to be a part of this airfield operations team and I couldn't be more proud to work with the people who have put so much work into being an outstanding team," said Rickords-Mars. "Everyone played an integral part in becoming the best!"