AGE ensures mission readiness

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Nicholas Okpysh, 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment journeyman, services an A\M32A-86 generator set at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. The generators supply aircraft with power so maintainers and crew chiefs can work on them, allowing the mission to continue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Nicholas Okpysh, 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment journeyman, services an A\M32A-86 generator set at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. The generators supply aircraft with power so maintainers and crew chiefs can work on them, allowing the mission to continue. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment flight perform their duties at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. The facility is designed for optimal efficiency. The AGE technicians can pull broken equipment straight through the bay, work on them, and send them back out to the flightline without obstructing work flow. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment flight perform their duties at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. The facility is designed for optimal efficiency. The AGE technicians can pull broken equipment straight through the bay, work on them, and send them back out to the flightline without obstructing work flow. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jonathan Santiago, 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment journeyman, looks up instructions for servicing a piece of equipment at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. Aerospace Ground Equipment technicians work with many units varying from base to base depending on the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jonathan Santiago, 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment journeyman, looks up instructions for servicing a piece of equipment at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. Aerospace Ground Equipment technicians work with many units varying from base to base depending on the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Harold Jordan, 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment apprentice, fills a mobile hydraulic fluid container at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. The AGE flight works on a variety of equipment that directly supports Airmen on the flightline. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Harold Jordan, 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment apprentice, fills a mobile hydraulic fluid container at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. The AGE flight works on a variety of equipment that directly supports Airmen on the flightline. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class John Cantu, 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment apprentice, cleans an air duct at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. Part of the inspections process, AGE technicians are required to clean the equipment to ensure they work properly and last longer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class John Cantu, 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment apprentice, cleans an air duct at the AGE facility on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 25, 2017. Part of the inspections process, AGE technicians are required to clean the equipment to ensure they work properly and last longer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin Boyer)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Mechanical guts hang out the open side of a generator. With grease covered hands, the maintenance crew patches up the unit bringing the beast to life again before sending it away to feed power to an aircraft on the flightline.

The 86th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment Flight works around the clock to provide aircraft maintenance the tools necessary to achieve their mission.

“We supply ground power for air power,” said Staff Sgt. Herman Bowser, 86th MXS AGE craftsman. “We fix all of the equipment that the crew chiefs use, or anybody else on base for that matter.”

Aerospace Ground Equipment technicians work with many units varying from base to base depending on the mission. Here, the biggest part of their work load is maintaining generators.

“You go to another base, the layout and line-up of equipment may be entirely different,” said Bowser. “It’s all based on the aircraft and the needs of the base. Anytime an aircraft touches the ground, they’re going to need us. So (temporary duties) often come up and allow us to go wherever they need us.”

Along with maintaining the equipment, AGE technicians also run inspections.

Airman 1st Class Magaly Vasquez, 86th MXS AGE technician, said they do routine inspections on the ground equipment every six months, 12 months and two years – each more thorough than the last.

“We do those on every single unit and we wash them to make sure that the unit can perform at its best ability,” she said.

Since the job is physically demanding, safety is a primary concern for AGE Airmen performing their duties.

“Proper form is the big key,” she said. “Being a maintainer requires a lot of physical labor so you have to be fit; you have to be able to keep up. If you’re not doing your part, you have to rely on others to help you out and it pulls away from them being able to do their job.”

Whether they’re providing heat or power to the aircraft, AGE ensures aircraft maintainers are able to accomplish their mission which in turn allows the pilots and aircrew to accomplish theirs.

“Aircraft would never take off without us – ever,” said Bowser. “We provide all of the necessary components and equipment for the guys on the flightline and a lot of back shops often times. Whatever you can think of that the aircraft or some back shops need, AGE is the focal point for all of that support.”