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An aircrew's lifeline

Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit

Airman 1st Class Necole S. Lane, 5th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment apprentice, repairs a fabric piece at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Dec. 3, 2018. The sewing machine is used to repair essential fabrics for the aircrew’s equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit)

Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit

An Airman from the 5th Operations Support Squadron assists aircrew members with their gear at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Dec. 3, 2018. The 5th Operations Support Squadron is responsible for making sure all of the equipment the aircrew members need to fly with is ready to go anytime. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit)

Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit

Airman 1st Class Necole S. Lane, 5th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment apprentice, measures the length of a lanyard attached to the survival vest at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Dec. 3, 2018. The lanyard attaches the survival components to the vest to allow aircrew members easy access to tools. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit)

Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit

Airman 1st Class Catherine Bernabe, 5th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment apprentice, organizes deployment bags at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Dec. 3, 2018. 5th OSS aircrew flight equipment shop maintains, inspects and repairs different life sustaining equipment for the aircrew members, which include flight helmets, life preservers, weapons, parachutes and survival gear. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit)

Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit

Airman 1st Class Necole S. Lane, 5th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment apprentice, inspects oxygen masks for discrepancies at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Dec. 3, 2018. The oxygen mask is used to make sure the aircrew members breathing isn’t hindered during flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit)

Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit

Airman 1st Class Necole S. Lane, 5th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment apprentice, tests an Aircrew Eye Respiratory Protection mask at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Dec. 3, 2018. The AERP protects the aircrew members from toxic chemical exposure to the head, neck, face, eyes and respiratory tract. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit)

Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit

Airman 1st Class Necole S. Lane, 5th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment apprentice, adjusts the torque on an oxygen mask at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Dec. 3, 2018. The oxygen mask is used to make sure the aircrew members breathing isn’t hindered during flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dillon J. Audit)

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --

The maintainers take care of the B-52s, the aircrews fly the aircraft; but who takes care of the aircrew?

Flying around 50,000 feet in the air the B-52H Stratofortress aircrew are required to be properly equipped for any in-flight emergency. Whether taking off or landing, the 5th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment team is the aircrew’s lifeline.

“We’re responsible for making sure all of the equipment the aircrew members need to fly with is ready to go anytime,” said Airman 1st Class Necole S. Lane, 5th OSS aircrew flight equipment apprentice.

5th OSS aircrew flight equipment shop maintains, inspects and repairs different life sustaining equipment for the aircrew, which includes: flight helmets, life preservers, weapons, parachutes and survival gear.

“Every piece of equipment is on a cycle,” said Lane. “Our goal is to stay on cycle and make sure nothing is overdue and everything is current, updated and ready for use.”

Lane stated that keeping the equipment maintained keeps the aircrew safe and prepared for any emergency.

“We are mission essential,” said Lane. “We’re part of the reason the bombers can fly and if the aircrew don’t have us maintaining the equipment they need, they can’t fly safely.”

Along with maintaining equipment Lane said the shop cycles around multiple jobs when an aircrew comes in for gear.

“I enjoy being hands on at times and working the desk,” said Lane. “We get officer interaction almost every day which is the best of both worlds.”

Lane said that she and her fellow Airmen care about what they do to complete the mission.

“Our mission is to ensure that all the Aircrew have what they need when they need it and we make sure that box is checked,” said Lane.

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