GSE Today Volume 8 - Issue 2 April
The Air Force Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) community recently held it’s first world wide conference in over 12 years
by George C. Prill
GSE Today Participates in the Meeting of the U.S. Air Force Aircraft Ground Support Working Group
Some parts of the job as Editorial Director of GSE Today are more pleasant than others. In February, one that I did both enjoy and appreciate was the opportunity to participate in a unique meeting within the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) community held its first worldwide flight chief’s conference in over 12 years. The conference was held February 7-10 at the Holiday Inn Boardwalk in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over 250 personnel from every Air Force base around the world and from National Guard and Reserve units were in attendance.
This forum gave the AGE community a unique opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics that affect their daily operations, as well as a chance to make new contacts and catch up on old times. Throughout the conference, the attendees were provided briefings on the Air Force support equipment acquisitions currently in progress and long-range plans for future acquisitions.
Many of these acquisitions will result in a significant reduction in mobility footprint, a theme that will be prevalent in many future support equipment acquisitions. In articles in recent issues of GSE Today and at GSE Expo, the Air Force explained the requirement to equip and train for rapid deployment from the continental U.S.
The Air Expeditionary Force is the model for the future. It demands new thinking in setting out the requirements for GSE. Commonality of equipment to handle many different types of aircraft becomes much more important when the wings are deployed with a mix of aircraft. New equipment is being sized for the F-22, but it must also serve the aircraft presently in the Force. GSE must be sized to provide as small a footprint as possible for efficiency in airborne deployment. It must be maintainable in the field.
The Air Forces’ Aircraft Ground Support Equipment Working Group (AGSEWG) sponsored the meeting. The AGSEWG is comprised of the support equipment functional managers from all ten of the Air Force Major Commands and is chaired by Chief Master Sergeant Timothy T. Breeyear, the Air Force Support Equipment Functional Manager at the Pentagon. This group of Non Commissioned Officers is responsible for improving Air Force aircraft readiness through improved acquisition and support of new and replacement aircraft ground support equipment.
I could not attend this session without being really impressed with the depth of experience and talent in the room. The role of the Senior Non Commissioned Officers in the military is not always fully appreciated by those outside the Services. Their knowledge based on experience and their common sense approach to problems are essential elements in the success of the military mission. I believe this is particularly true in the Air Force, which has traditionally centered on the role of aircrew and, in particular, the pilot. I would be the last to minimize that role, but I was very pleased to be able to participate in a meeting that clearly recognized the importance of ground support. The success of the meeting should prove to everyone that a twelve-year gap was far too long. The AGSEWG needs support in this.
Chief Master Sergeant Timothy T. Breeyear
Chief Breeyear will be retiring from the Air Force, and chairing the meeting of the AGSEWG was one of his last duties. In his role in the Pentagon he is the logistics program manager for aircraft systems and support equipment, Maintenance Management Division, Directorate of Maintenance, Deputy Chief of Staff Installations & Logistics, Headquarters United States Air Force.
He is also the Program Element Monitor (PEM) for common support equipment (SE) development. He advocates and defends programs and funding through the Air Force corporate structure, OSD staff, and Congress for the development of common SE to meet new operational requirements and to modify, improve, or replace existing equipment. In addition to chairing the AGSEWG, he participates as the technical advisor for the annual USAF Buy and Budget review for appropriated equipment procurement funds.
Breeyear’s career illustrates the path that young men and, now, women can follow to the top. After graduating from high school in Glens Falls, New York, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1978. After training at Lackland and Chanute, he served in a variety of assignments at Kadena, Nellis, the Tonopah Test Range, a deployment to Saudi Arabia for the campaigns in the Desert, Griffiss, and Kelly, where he was support equipment Program Manager. He took over his present job in June 1997. He earned degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and Parks College.