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Weather team relays forecast readings to Bagram F-16 Pilots

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cierra Presentado
  • 455th AEW Public Affairs

The 555th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s weather team’s job is to make sure weather updates are relayed to the F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots and leadership to ensure pilots are conducting safe flying missions.

Upon the start of their day, the weather team checks a full satellite image of Afghanistan; from there they narrow their view down to Bagram and the area in which the pilots from the Triple Nickel will fly their missions.

“We take a good look at the weather forecast slated for that day or week, whatever the weather…good or bad…and we relay it to our top three,” said Tech. Sgt. Charles Washington, 555th EFS weather forecaster. “We provide the information, but the leadership makes the determination if the pilots will fly or not.”

Depending on the season, the weather team may experience more challenging days than others.

“We’re currently in the 120 days of wind. Some days this may affect the pilots flying and sometimes it won’t. If it gets too windy, it could get dangerous for the pilots during landing and takeoff,” he said.

On a normal deployment, Washington would deploy to an operations support squadron weather flight and work with pilots over the phone. This time, however, is the first time the 555th EFS deployed with its own weather team from Aviano Air Base, Italy.

“I’m use to working with the OSS weather team back at Aviano. I do weather for the base and the fighter squadron,” he said. “We still work hand in hand with OSS here for the wing weather relays, but our main focus here is weather updates for the Triple Nickel.”

The team is use to working with each other on a daily basis at home station, and it carriers over here.

“These are the same guys I see every day back at home station. We already know each other so that makes the job that much easier,” he said. “We all have a good working relationship so I’m really glad we were all able to deploy together.”