SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
During the COVID-19 pandemic, service members have to quickly adapt and do what they can to accomplish the mission. Having to physically distance themselves or stay home to protect their health can cause challenges and new ways of not only doing their jobs, but keeping their stress levels low.
The 52nd Operation Support Squadron weather flight has been continuing their mission despite the challenges faced by the pandemic.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Perritt, 52nd OSS Weather Flight NCO in charge of mission weather operations, explained how he adjusted during this time.
“As part of the essential mission we are continuing to do our jobs, however, modifications have been made,” said Perritt. “When the airfield is open or there is a threat of significant weather, we can no longer continue to work remotely. Our forecaster will be at the desk to observe and forecast weather conditions not only affecting the flying mission, but any weather condition that could pose an impact to base personnel, resources, equipment, and structures.”
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bradley Gallaher, 52nd OSS Weather Flight training manager, has been continuing mission operations by ensuring their records and training are up to date.
“During this pandemic I have been revamping our entire training plan,” said Gallaher. “I have been sorting out which taskings are for mission ops and which taskings are for airfield ops.”
Perritt said when they are not at the desk, they still continue working where they can.
“We have been creating new products for the 480th Fighter Squadron in helping make their mission planning more seamless when prepping for weather limiting factors,” said Perritt. “We are also leading the charge in getting all local documentation scrubbed. Our career field has published five Air Force manuals and a new Career Field Education and Training Plan in the past year and we expect an additional AFMAN to be published in the coming weeks.”
When dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic on a personal level, Perritt said he is focusing on what he can control.
“As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our everyday lives, it can be difficult to grasp hold of what is the new norm and what’s controllable,” said Perritt. “For myself I focus on my health and cleanliness as well as trying to take as many preventative actions as possible to protect myself and my little family. The same goes for keeping my family back in the states as informed and up to date with steps and procedures for staying safe.”
Gallaher said he has been coping with the pandemic by taking advantage of the nice weather.
“I have been using my free time to take walks with my dog,” said Gallaher. “The weather has been great for running and doing outdoor activities.”
Despite the challenges brought with COVID-19, Perritt said they will continue with their mission and remain vigilant.
“The weather shop maintains 24-hour watch over the airfield,” said Perritt. “If there is any kind of threat, day or night, we will be there.”