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Crew chief keeps BAF C-130Js mission ready

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Divine Cox
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron provides combat-ready aircraft to the air component commander in support of coalition forces throughout Afghanistan.

Here at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Anthony Single, 455th EAMXS crew chief, ensures that the C-130J Super Hercules is prepared to support any operation or mission.

“My job is to ensure that aircraft at Bagram are prepared for flight and return them to a mission-ready state once they land,” said Single. “I am here to keep missions generated.”

Single said that some days are a lot busier than others because most of their jobs are generated depending on the mission of the aircraft.

“We fly a lot of different missions here at Bagram,” said Single. “Depending on what needs to be flown or who needs to be flown drives our day. We fly anything from cargo, personnel, to aeromedical evacuation missions.”


In addition to just performing maintenance on the aircraft, Single said he also launches and recovers the aircraft.


”When I recover the aircraft, I inspect and look them over,” said Single. “If I find something wrong with it, I will call out the specialist and they will determine if it is a hard break or not. But as the crew chief, I will always be there helping them out.”


According to Single, the 455th EAMXS and the C-130J are here to supply the more austere locations throughout the country.


“If it wasn’t for us, supplies wouldn’t be delivered to the smaller forward operating bases. The C-130 is so versatile, so they go to base that other aircraft can’t go. Without us, the FOBs would be hurting.”


Master Sgt. Erik Ruppert, C-130J expeditionary aircraft maintenance unit section chief, expressed how important the squadron is for the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing’s mission.


“The 455th EAMXS generates aircraft for close air support, personnel recovery, airlift, aeromedical evacuation, electronic attack and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties for the Combined Forces Air Component Commander,” said Ruppert. “We do that by aggressively executing the fundamentals of aircraft maintenance, and guys like Single make that happen for us.”


Single expressed pride to be part of the work his squadron has accomplished.


“We have never missed a full leg here on this deployment. We’ve generated every mission given to us. There’s people out there that really need supplies and with us not missing a mission, we know they are getting with they need to continually support their mission which in turn enables us to defend, support and deliver airpower,” said Single, alluding to the both the wing’s and his squadron’s mission.


“We are here to defend the two busiest airfields in Afghanistan, support the premier counter terrorism wing and our partners, and deliver decisive airpower,” said Ruppert.


Hailing from Lebanon, Mo., Single is currently deployed from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.


“I always wanted to join the military,” said Single. “The Air Force was something I saw growing up and I really looked up to the men and women who served in our armed forces, so for me, it felt like the most selfless thing to do. The Air Force has always been one of those branches as more prestigious and air planes are cool and I knew I wanted to work on them.”


Single is no stranger to the deployed life and looks forward to finishing out his tour here.


“I volunteered for this deployment, so I was excited about it because I know everyone wanted to be here because we all volunteered,” said Single. It means everyone is part of the team and makes the job less stressful, he said.