Fairchild after dark: weather, maintenance, fuels

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jocelyn A. Guthrie
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Editor's note: This is part two of a three-part series covering night operations at Fairchild.

Twenty-four-hour operations are a must when it comes to Fairchild's mission. There are several moving parts to our mission and many revolve around the airfield.

If there are flights coming in, the weather shop has to be readily available to take calls with the pilot-to-metro-service radio, used to inform pilots of weather updates as needed.
Well before pilots take off, they are here, monitoring not only the conditions on station, but also the potential conditions of the pilot's destination.

During the winter months, it is dark more than it is light in this part of the United States. One responsibility of the airfield management operations coordinators is performing the airfield lighting inspection. Every night they must drive the airfield to visually check that all 1,989 lights are working as they should be. This ensures that the path is properly lit for aircraft approaching or taking off from Fairchild.

The planes themselves need the attention of the 92nd Maintenance and Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons. Nighttime is prime time to perform general inspections, making sure all is well with each aircraft, and fix those which need it; many man hours go into the prepping of a plane to make certain the aircraft are ready. Aside from maintenance, fuel is also a necessity.

The Airman in fuels work non-stop going from aircraft to aircraft giving them enough fuel to successfully complete the mission at hand. The time of day does not affect the work that must be done, nor does the weather.

All these night crews work tirelessly to guarantee Team Fairchild completes its mission every day... and night.