Ground crew keeps EC-130H flying
By By Staff Sgt. Kevin Tomko, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing
/ Published March 26, 2007
Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan --
The EC-130H is a sophisticated aircraft. A modified C-130, its cargo section is packed with state-of-the-art electronic equipment used for communication and radar jamming.
With this unique aircraft comes a need for special maintainers dedicate their efforts to keeping it to the air to fight the Global War on Terror.
The 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron aerospace ground equipment
crew keeps equipment such as stands, lights and two important pieces of equipment used only by this aircraft, the Tri-electron generator and the Ace heater, in top working condition.
The Tri-electron generator is used to power up the aircraft while protecting sensitive electronic equipment. The Ace heater is used to heat or cool the electronic equipment on board the aircraft before a mission.
2nd Lt. Eileen Wanless, the maintenance officer in charge, said AGE technicians Senior Airman Brian Kidd and Tech. Sgt. Matthew Boilon are vital to the mission of the EC-130H. "We support missions for the combined forces as well as Central Air Force," said Wanless. "If they were not able to maintain that specialized equipment, we could not operate as successfully as we do."
Kidd, a member of the Air Force for three years, has been in Afghanistan almost
"I like it here because I don't work on the same thing every day. It's always something different," he said. "Back home I would just be maintaining equipment. Here in Afghanistan, I can see the results of my work much better. At home, I feel when I work on a plane, it's just training. But working here, the plane could actually be saving someone's life."
Boilon said he is a section leader on his base back home and does not have many opportunities to work on equipment. "Here in Afghanistan, I get more hands-on opportunities to work on the equipment," the tech sergeant said. "It's kind of a
jack-of-all-trades job here."
Boilon and Kidd are just two of the many service members here who are making a difference in Operation Enduring Freedom.
The 41st ECS is deployed from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.