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AGE Airmen ensure mission success

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Netzel, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (EMS) aerospace ground equipment (AGE) noncommissioned officer in charge, right, explains how to repair a 60-turbine generator at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 18, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Netzel, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (EMS) aerospace ground equipment (AGE) noncommissioned officer in charge, right, explains how to repair a 60-turbine generator at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 18, 2018. AGE Airmen perform regular inspections on flightline equipment biannually and when a piece of equipment breaks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen Kelley, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment craftsman, hooks a new generator engine to a lift at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 18, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen Kelley, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment craftsman, hooks a new generator engine to a lift at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 18, 2018. When equipment parts, such as generator engines, are replaced with a new part, AGE Airmen use the container the new part came in to ship the broken part back to the manufacturers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen Kelley, left, and Staff Sgt. Heather Morgan, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment craftsmen, remove a generator engine at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 18, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephen Kelley, left, and Staff Sgt. Heather Morgan, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment craftsmen, remove a generator engine at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 18, 2018. AGE Airmen work on anything from F-16CM Fighting Falcon engines and air compressors to bomb lifts and hydraulics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

When an F-16CM Fighting Falcon at Shaw AFB is grounded because it needs a new engine, Airmen assigned to the 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (EMS) aerospace ground equipment (AGE) shop are there to repair the jets and ensure they are ready to accomplish the 20th Fighter Wing (FW) mission.

The 20th EMS AGE Airmen maintain approximately 500 pieces of equipment used on the flightline to troubleshoot jets. They work on F-16 engines and air compressors as well as the equipment to fix them, such as generators and bomb lifts.

“We do everything from scheduled inspections to (fixing) whatever breaks on the jet, so we also do engine changes as well as other maintenance on the jet,” said Tech. Sgt. Carson Padgett, 20th EMS AGE craftsman. “We don’t out-source any of our maintenance. We do everything from electrical troubleshooting to mechanical repair.”

Certain troubleshooting can be done in place on the flightline rather than in the shop, so the 20th FW tactical aircraft maintainers may borrow a generator from the AGE shop and hook it up to a malfunctioning jet.

AGE Airmen perform inspections on flightline equipment every six months to ensure all the tools are working properly, so they can repair what needs to be fixed and get the jet back in the air.

“We upkeep all the equipment that is used out on the flightline to service aircraft, to access points on the aircraft that maintainers can’t get to,” said Airman 1st Class Jacob Grant, 20th EMS AGE technician.

By maintaining and repairing the equipment necessary to fix Team Shaw’s F-16s, AGE Airmen ensure the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses mission is accomplished, ensuring aircraft are ready to succeed in future contingencies as well as effectively and appropriately react to any threat, anytime, anywhere.