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144th AFE Airmen support pilots at Red Flag 16-1

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alyssa Uribe, 144th Operations Group aircrew flight equipment technician, conducts a routine inspection on a harness as part of Red Flag 16-1 held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Feb. 3, 2016. Uribe and the rest of the 144th OG AFE team complete thorough inspections on all the 194th Fighter Squadron pilots’ flight equipment before every mission to ensure the safest flight every time. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alyssa Uribe, 144th Operations Group aircrew flight equipment technician, conducts a routine inspection on a harness as part of Red Flag 16-1 held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Feb. 3, 2016. Uribe and the rest of the 144th OG AFE team complete thorough inspections on all the 194th Fighter Squadron pilots’ flight equipment before every mission to ensure the safest flight every time. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alyssa Uribe, 144th Operations Group aircrew flight equipment technician, tightens the screws on a harness as part of Red Flag 16-1 held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Feb. 3, 2016. Uribe and the rest of the 144th OG AFE team complete thorough inspections on all the 194th Fighter Squadron pilots’ flight equipment before every mission to ensure the safest flight every time. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alyssa Uribe, 144th Operations Group aircrew flight equipment technician, tightens the screws on a harness as part of Red Flag 16-1 held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Feb. 3, 2016. Uribe and the rest of the 144th OG AFE team complete thorough inspections on all the 194th Fighter Squadron pilots’ flight equipment before every mission to ensure the safest flight every time. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Klynne Pearl Serrano)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- The 144th Operations Group aircrew flight equipment team plays a big role in getting the 194th Fighter Squadron pilots ready to fly missions, day and night,  during Red Flag 16-1.

The AFE team conducts routine inspections on all of the pilots' gear: g-suits, survival kits, harnesses and oxygen masks, to name a few. They ensure that everything is ready and safe for use before each and every flight.

Working outside of their comfort zone, the AFE team stepped up to the challenge of working in smaller quarters and with people assigned to different units from the U.S. and its allies.

"Gaining from this exercise, I have learned to adapt quickly in an environment outside of my shop," said Senior Airman Alyssa Uribe, 144th OG AFE technician. "It has helped me gain knowledge about what other units and countries do on a day-to-day basis, and I will take that back to the 144th [Fighter Wing] and share these experiences with my fellow Airmen."

Working side by side with the 194th FS pilots, the AFE team is here to train hard and keep the mission going.

"Getting through the Red Flag exercise is a huge accomplishment for the [144th Fighter Wing]," said Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Ginther, 144th OG AFE superintendent. "After converting from the F-16 to the F-15, this will put us in a fully operational status which will allow the unit to join the rest of the Air Force in the fight--basically partaking in a bigger scope of America's defense, both at home and around the world."

The AFE team is one of the important pieces that make up the 144th Fighter Wing. Their dedication and hard work, along with the rest of the units', will contribute to becoming fully operational capable.

"Completing [Red Flag] is also a huge accomplishment for the aircrew flight equipment team," Ginther said. "The valuable training we received here will definitely be put to good use when we go back to our home station."