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NEWS | Feb. 13, 2014

17th AS keeps mission moving

By Senior Airman Ashlee Galloway Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The 437th Airlift Wing's mission is to safely provide precise, reliable airlift worldwide, and its vision is to continue as the nation's airlift wing of choice; leading through excellence and innovation.

One of the four Airlift Squadron's in the 437th AW is the 17th AS at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C.

On a daily basis the 17th AS conducts training flights as well as ground events, to ensure that teach individual continues to be mission ready.

"We have multiple shops in the 17th AS that help support each other and play a vital role in everything we do," said Capt. Ryan Scott, 17th AS Operations Flight commander. "We have an operations training shop, our director of operations and assistant director of operations, readiness shop, tactics shop, awards and decorations shop, standards/evaluations shop and safety shop."

Each shop plays a vital role on how the 17th AS operates and how they get their mission accomplished on a day to day basis.

The operations shop contains the ground scheduler who schedules any ground events for pilots and loadmasters, a pilot scheduler who schedules pilot for local training lines or missions, as well as a loadmaster scheduler who schedules loadmasters for training lines or missions. The shop ensures every individual who flies on the aircraft has proper qualification.

The DO and ADO shops oversee the flying operations for the 17th AS.

"A big picture of what we do is to make sure we have the right crew for the right missions, ensure they have the right training and that each individual is legal to fly," said Maj. Adam Dalson, 17th AS ADO. "There are a lot of details for each flight and we make sure each aircrew member's paperwork is correct. We have to go through the orders for each individual, make sure each Airman has had the proper training, check the overall risk of the flight, and make sure there is an overall plan if there is bad weather."

In the stand/eval shop they are known as the "voice of experience."

"The junior Airmen perform administration paperwork," said Capt. Ben Woods, 17th AS chief of stand/eval and weapons officer. "We in stand/eval make sure records are correct, which requires extreme attention to detail; for example, if there is a check mark instead of an 'X' then the form is incorrect, and we also have to make sure that every 't' is crossed and every 'i' is dotted. We also continually maintain currency levels; we work with the training shop to evaluate individuals to the next level in training. In closing, we give an evaluation on whether each individual is good to move to the next level or not."

In the training shop, Airmen, work with the operations shop ensuring everyone that is flying has the right crew set for the mission.

"We make sure everyone is qualified, track everyone's currency and making sure they get there currency is up to date," said Capt. Donald Waugh, 17th AS training officer. "We also track everyone for upgrades, such a co-pilot to pilot, and make sure each individual has all of their prerequisites that are required."

Capt. Aleks Layne, 17th AS deputy chief of tactics officer, explains what the tactics shop does daily.

"We take note of all information for crews that are going out and help the crew if they need to know how to operate on certain missions, like in Afghanistan," said Layne. "We also pay close attention to any possible threats and how we can defeat those threats by using altitudes and radio frequencies."

In the awards and decorations shop, they run all quarterly and annual awards and individual awards and decorations as well.

"The main thing that we process here at the awards and decorations shop is the Air Medal," said Capt. Victoria Thomas, awards and decorations officer. "The air medal is rewarded after 20 air missions in combat, and we have four people in this shop that will process those for each individual."

The airlift squadrons are on a deployment ratio where they will be on station for six months, then deploy for two. While deployed, the squadron will fly every day down range moving either cargo or personnel. The majority of the flights while deployed are air drops, which consist of dropping critical supplies, such as food and ammunition, to forward operating bases.

"I'm really glad to be in the 17th AS and am ready to take us to the next level," said Col. Paul Theriot, 17th AS commander, as he addresses the squadron for the first time. "I am very happy and proud to be your new squadron commander, and I look forward to continuing to make this squadron great."