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Airmen ensure connection to the sky

Airfield systems Airmen from the 36th Operations Support Squadron open a field data collection unit June 2, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The technicians check circuits within the unit for arch burns, blown fuses, loose wires and missing parts to ensure life-saving equipment is operational at all times. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Airfield systems Airmen from the 36th Operations Support Squadron open a field data collection unit June 2, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The technicians check circuits within the unit for arch burns, blown fuses, loose wires and missing parts to ensure life-saving equipment is operational at all times. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Senior Airman Patrick Duffie, 36th Operations Support Squadron airfield systems technician, opens a power panel to ensure the breaker is performing properly June 2, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The technicians guarantee safe landings everyday by performing routine checks on essential equipment such as the glideslope, localizer, and TACAN or tactical air navigation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Senior Airman Patrick Duffie, 36th Operations Support Squadron airfield systems technician, opens a power panel to ensure the breaker is performing properly June 2, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The technicians guarantee safe landings everyday by performing routine checks on essential equipment such as the glideslope, localizer, and TACAN or tactical air navigation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Senior Airman Patrick Duffie, 36th Operations Support Squadron airfield systems technician, flips breaker switches to ensure power is being properly dispersed to the wind bird, a wind sensor, June 2, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The technicians guarantee safe landings everyday by performing routine checks on essential equipment such as the glideslope, localizer, and TACAN or tactical air navigation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Senior Airman Patrick Duffie, 36th Operations Support Squadron airfield systems technician, flips breaker switches to ensure power is being properly dispersed to the wind bird, a wind sensor, June 2, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The technicians guarantee safe landings everyday by performing routine checks on essential equipment such as the glideslope, localizer, and TACAN or tactical air navigation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Airfield systems Airmen from the 36th Operations Support Squadron return the wind bird to standing position after performing checks on the instrument’s performance June 2, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The instrument is a sensor that determines the direction of the wind and is one of many sophisticated pieces of equipment maintained by airfield systems technicians to ensure aircrews remain safe throughout their missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Airfield systems Airmen from the 36th Operations Support Squadron return the wind bird to standing position after performing checks on the instrument’s performance June 2, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The instrument is a sensor that determines the direction of the wind and is one of many sophisticated pieces of equipment maintained by airfield systems technicians to ensure aircrews remain safe throughout their missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- When storm clouds roll in, wind speeds increase and rain begins to cover the flightline in a foggy haze, landing aircraft on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean may seem a daunting task.

The inclement weather, however, is not a problem for aviators with help from 36th Operations Support Squadron airfield systems technicians. This group of specially trained Airmen play an important role in ensuring aircraft and aircrew land safely regardless of the environmental conditions.

"On Guam, we have quite a bit of bad weather and if it rains or gets cloudy all of a sudden, the aircraft can't see the flightline from the sky," said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Turner, 36th OSS air traffic control and landing systems section chief. "That's when our navigation equipment comes into play to allow them to land safely." 

To support communication between pilots and the air traffic control tower, the technicians ensure reliable performance of landing systems. Instruments like the glideslope, which determines the elevation of the aircraft in relation to the runway, the localizer, which determines the horizontal placement of the aircraft and the TACAN or tactical air navigation, which is a beacon similar to a global positioning system are among the sophisticated equipment the Airmen maintain.

"Operations never stop. Whenever the air traffic controllers need our assistance, we are there to support," Turner said. "If a piece of equipment is reported to be malfunctioning, we test our equipment then reach out to other agencies until we discover what caused the issue."

The technicians guarantee safe landings everyday by performing routine checks on essential equipment no matter how small or insignificant the check may seem at first.

"If we didn't accomplish our checks or maintain equipment correctly, and the weather goes bad, the aircraft can crash," said Senior Airman Patrick Duffie, 36th OSS airfield systems technician. "For example, if the glideslope is not aligned correctly, the landing gear could be ripped out of the plane and the next thing you know the plane is topsy-turvy."

When an issue is discovered on a piece of equipment, the technicians make a diagnosis and may recommend repair or suggest replacing the equipment. After performing repairs, airfield systems specialists conduct performance tests to make sure the system operates properly.

"If any of our equipment goes down, we are out there trying to get it back up to working condition," Turner said.

By ensuring life-saving equipment stays operational, the technicians can keep air traffic controllers connected and aircrews safe throughout their missions. 

"Being in the 36th OSS, working next to the people who actually use our equipment, we can tell they know firsthand about what our job entails," Turner said. "They tell us how much they appreciate us for making sure the equipment is operational and ensuring planes can land safely."

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Congratulations to Team Andersen's newest graduates of Airman Leadership School class 19F! Follow the link to download the High Res. photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/albums/72157710560654943
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Members assigned to the 36 Force Support Squadron, SSgt Cherise Hood, SSgt Joshua Parnell and SrA Alyssa Ross, recently represented Joint Region Marianas at the Tenth Annual Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Culinary Competition at Naval Station Great Lakes. The culinary competition consisted of twelve teams of three chefs that were declared as the best of their Navy region. The trio ultimately snatched second place for overall performance and took home third place in the culinary competition. Their winnings included three fine-dining cookbooks, a garnishing kit, a knife set and 24 education hours from the American Culinary Federation. (courtesy photos) #foodservices #culinaryskills #36FSS
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Andersen AFB will be conducting a routine exercise from 20-22 Aug. Please expect delays at all gates and announcements across the public address system.
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Gate runner pronounced dead ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – At approximately 7:52 a.m. local time today, the suspect was pronounced deceased on scene while receiving medical attention by emergency medical personnel. At approximately 7:35 p.m., Aug. 14, a suspect charged the front gate while being pursued by the Guam Police Department. The suspect crashed their vehicle while attempting to force their way through the gate, abandoned their vehicle, and then proceeded to flee on foot into the nearby jungle area. 36th Security Forces Squadron initiated base lockdown procedures and began the search for the suspect along with GPD. The suspect attempted to evade patrols in the jungle. 36th SFS’s members and GPD located the suspect on base and initiated an arrest. The suspect responded aggressively attacking the arresting officers and stabbed a Department of Defense civilian security forces member. The suspect was subsequently shot by the officer in self-defense. “While apprehending a suspect, our defenders were compelled to use lethal force for their own defense, resulting in the death of the suspect,” said Brig. General Gentry Boswell, 36th Wing commander. “We value the importance of every life and are thankful for the courage our Defenders display in the safe conduct of their duties protecting our personnel and families.” There is an ongoing investigation into this incident and additional information may be provided when available. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Air Force Office of Special Investigation are working together with Security Forces and Guam Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and the use of force.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Police chase suspect shot at Andersen Air Force Base during apprehension. At approximately 6:35 a.m. local time, the search for the suspect involved in a high-speed police chase last night with Guam Police Department ended when he was located by a team of security forces members here. The individual crashed into the barriers on Andersen AFB and attempted to flee on foot. During apprehension, the suspect responded aggressively and stabbed a Department of Defense civilian security forces member. The suspect was subsequently shot by base security during the altercation. The suspect was transported by ambulance to civilian hospital. “Our top priority is to ensure the safety of Team Andersen, our service members and families,” said Brig. Gen. Gentry Boswell, 36th Wing commander. “We are proud of our partnerships in place and for the swift actions taken by our security forces members in conjunction with local law enforcement.” There is an ongoing investigation into this incident and additional information may be provided when available. The Air Force Office of Special Investigation is working together with Andersen AFB security forces and the Guam Police Department. Please direct any inquiries to the Public Affairs office at (671) 366-2228.
Main Gate Closure Real World for Andersen AFB Anderesen AFB Main Gate is closed for emergency personel only until further notice. Utilize other gates for entry and exit to Andersen AFB.
At approximately 7:35 p.m. local time, a civilian suspect attempted to enter Andersen Air Force Base at the main gate after fleeing from the Guam Police Department, the suspect crashed his vehicle when members of the 36th Security Forces Squadron activated emergency defensive barriers. Andersen Air Force Base was placed on lockdown as a safety precaution. Security Forces and local law enforcement responded to the scene of the crash, secured the area and opened the main gate road. The all clear has been issued and normal operations have resumed.
As of right now, every gate but the back gate is open. Traffic is slowly flowing & all outbound traffic is being searched.
ALL CLEAR ALL CLEAR ALL CLEAR Immediate threat has passed. The lockdown for Andersen AFB has been lifted. Thank you for your patience while Andersen AFB responders ensured the safety of our base. ALL CLEAR ALL CLEAR ALL CLEAR
LOCKDOWN LOCKDOWN LOCKDOWN Andersen AFB is in a base wide lockdown. All base personnel implement lockdown procedures and immediately take shelter. Remain indoors and keep all entry ways locked. This is not an exercise! We will provide further updates as we receive them.
Did you send your family your photo yet? Our Flickr page has hundreds of photos that you may want! Photos from official ceremonies are posted and kept on Flickr for 6 months, or until the page is at capacity - 1000 photos. If you have recently been promoted, awarded, graduated from ALS, assumed or relinquished command, etc., make sure you check out the link below! https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/
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