493rd Operations Desk: Law of the Skies

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tiffany M. Deuel
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
"Have you had your life support training?"

"Have you done your mission and instrument qualification checks?"

"Is your simulated emergency procedures training up-to-date?

"What about Emergency egress?"

These are just a few of the questions on a variety of topics that can be heard at the 493rd Fighter Squadron Operations Desk on any given day as they prepare pilots for their missions.

If a pilot answers no to any of these questions, he or she is determined a "no go."

The go/no-go system is a process used by the 493rd FS Ops Desk to determine pilot readiness. The desk ensures pilots complete all required training before they can fly. This system is in place to assure 493rd FS pilots are legal to fly.

Capt. Mike Conrad, 493rd Fighter Squadron Operations supervisor, said, "We make sure all pilots step [to their aircraft] with the appropriate currencies. All pilots must be up-to-date with their training requirements, signed off on all applicable read files and have signed flying orders."

Additionally, the Ops Desk is also responsible for tracking the current training pilot currencies.

Senior Airman Patrick Moton, 493rd Fighter Squadron Aviation Resource Management System manager, said, "We input fliers' flying time, which is updating their ground currencies and flight currencies."

The 493rd FS Ops Desk is also responsible for the real-time flying schedule.

"We receive the schedule the day of flying," said Captain Conrad. "So if someone is sick or cannot fly that day, we are responsible for making sure his or her spot gets filled. It can be a tasking job. It changes from day to day. A lot of attention to detail is involved. We make sure that they are not only legal, but safe to fly."

Safety is a key component of the flying system. The 493rd FS Ops Desk Airmen do their part to ensure pilot safety by briefing each pilot on current field status, weather and airspace. They also coordinate maintenance issues once pilots get to their jets.

The Ops Desk has to flex to pilot needs, so it has no set hours.

"We arrive two and a half hours prior to the first pilot taking off, and we do not leave until the last pilot is in the building," said Captain Conrad.

So whether it's out-of-date training requirements, maintenance issues or other discrepancies, the 493rd FS Ops Desk keeps its' pilots legal and safe to fly.