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HARM keeps pilots qualified, in air, on target
Host aviation resource managers from the 8th Operations Support Squadron pose with their unit's coin at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, recently. HARM Airmen are responsible for the overall administration of the aviation resource management system, which is an online management information system designed to support the oprations group commander. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton/Released)
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HARM keeps pilots qualified, in air, on target

Posted 11/22/2011   Updated 11/22/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

11/22/2011 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Air Force's mission is to fly, fight and win. A mission supported by the Pacific Air Forces and Airmen assigned to Kunsan Air Base. Kunsan, otherwise known as the Wolf Pack, has a unique mission all know who have and ever will serve at the last warrior base in the Air Force.

The Wolf Pack's mission is to defend the base, accept follow on forces and take the fight north.

The end result: taking out the enemy wherever they exist.

The 8th Fighter Wing ensures the safety of their Republic of Korea allies through an ever-vigilant show of force using the F-16 Fighting Falcon as their platform. This aircraft requires the expertise of up to two pilots, depending on the model of the aircraft. These pilots must have all their training requirements up to date and properly filed and maintained according to specific Air Force standards.

Pilots are too busy taking the fight north to worry about maintaining their records, which is where Kunsan's aviation resource managers take over.

"We make sure they have everything they need to fly," said Master Sgt. Carissa Lewis, 8th Operations Support Squadron host aviation resource manager. "These can be items from their flight physical and aeronautical orders to their chamber card. They have to meet all their eligibility requirements and we ensure this happens."

Lewis' coworker, Master Sgt. Jennifer Mastan, 8th OSS HARM superintendent, explained there are four sections to aviation resource management at the wing level.

"In our career field you have the opportunity to work in HARM, squadron aviation resource management, training aircrew and current operations," Mastan said. "The HARM office is the primary base-level work center and normally falls in to the reporting chain of the major flying organization on the base."

Mastan said HARM is responsible for the overall administration of the aviation resource management system, which is an online management information system designed to support the operations group commander. ARMS assists the commander and staff with day-to-day duties in aircrew management.

ARMS facilitates HARM as they administer flight management policies in accordance with AFI 11-401, the Aviation Career Improvement Act of 1989, National Defense Authorization Act of 1999 and the DoD Pay Manual.

"We manage pilot's training requirements in accordance with Air Force and PACAF training instructions," Lewis said. "The system allows us to prepare and distribute aeronautical orders."

"This is a key function of the HARM," Mastan added. "Since AOs document an individual's authority to perform in-flight duties."

The HARM office also plays a pivotal role in ensuring pilots make their earnings.

"We monitor flight pay entitlements as well," said Lewis.

The mission of HARM is to provide the best aviation resource management available, said Staff Sgt. Marissa Miller, 8th OSS HARM NCO in charge.

"We ensure our aircrew and parachutist's aviation career, incentive pay, training and history are accurately and properly maintained," Miller continued. "Our goal is to provide the highest quality service to all of our customers."

As with the majority of desk jobs in the Air Force, Mastan said what they do is generally "thankless".

"If we don't maintain records, crew members don't fly," she continued. "If crew members don't fly, maintenance can't do their job and the wing's whole mission falls apart."

But she said it's totally worth it.

"Yes we do a lot of admin work, but I love what I do," said Mastan. "I would retire and get back in without question."

Though Mastan admitted when her customers thank her for what her office does, that's the moment of fulfillment.

"When aircrew members actually thank us and appreciate what we've done for them, then you know your job is complete," Mastan said.

Miller said the great thing about their career field is everybody knows everybody. With more than 2,800 of them in the Air Force, admittedly, she said it's like a big family.

"A 'one charlie' is a one 'charlie.' No matter where you are or when you deploy, you're always a one charlie and proud of it."

[Editors note: This article is part one of a three part series highlighting the three aviation resource management sections at Kunsan.]

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