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WoW: SrA Ethan Boyce

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ashley Maldonado
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Weasel of the Week series asks Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, heroes, experts, and all-around great Airmen to share their likes, dislikes, Air Force spirit and personalities. We sat down with Senior Airman Ethan Boyce, 79th Fighter Squadron squadron aviation resource manager, to get to know him. Boyce maintains and pilots flying hours and training accomplishments. He also utilizes radio communications between the pilots in aircraft and relative agencies to ensure the pilots and jets are in good condition and ready to fly.

Please describe your career field and job within it.

My career field is aviation resource management. I fall under the squadron aviation resource management, and we are actually directly involved in everything the pilots do. We keep track of all their currencies and grounding events to make sure that they are legally qualified to fly and that they can be as safe as possible.

As they are preparing their jet and starting it up, they tell us whatever is going wrong with it. We then take that and pass it over to maintenance and have them send out their specialists and maintainers to fix whatever is going on. From there, they take off. We hand them over to air traffic control.

When the pilots are on their way back, it’s pretty much the same thing but backwards.

How do you affect the wing’s mission capabilities?

We make sure that the pilots are qualified to fly and that they can do what they are supposed to do up in the air. If they are not qualified, God forbid, something can happen mishap-related. They could black out or something and that would fall under us too for letting them fly when they aren’t qualified at the moment.

What inspires you to strive and excel at your job?

I think that one hit me while we were on deployment and seeing how close we were to the mission and first-hand witnessing what the pilots are doing while we are out there; just knowing that they are up there because we helped put them there and made sure that they could get up there and do what they needed to do. I enjoyed seeing the bigger picture of what we do downrange.

What advice do you have for people coming in to your career field?

The biggest thing is confidence. It’s hard for everybody to adjust when your whole entire building is probably a max of 10 other enlisted and 30 officers. We do treat them with respect as they do to us, but to also know that they are human to and to not be shy when you are trying to find an issue or just have a general conversation on how to get a problem solved as well as when you use the radios to try and talk to them while they are in their jets; confidence definitely helps a lot.

What is your proudest moment since you arrived here?

I want to say it hasn’t happened yet. It’s going to be receiving the medals and awards from the deployment, but I’m looking forward to that because not many people can say they’ve done that.

How do you define success and how does it help you in your career field?

Success from our perspective is keeping up with our job. It’s very tedious making sure that everything is good to go. It’s our job to make sure that they are flying legally. If we can’t keep them updated on what they are supposed to be doing, then they can’t fly, and there goes a good portion of the base’s function. So, success to us is making sure that we keep them updated and legal to fly.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would like to cross-train into remote piloted aircraft sensor operator and become even more hands-on with something, but I don’t know. That’s quite a big gap away, so anything could change between then and now.

What is one change you wish you could make to the Air Force or your career field?

It’s fine as it is.

What is one thing you wish people knew about your job?

The deployment aspect and how close we actually get to it. I mean, personally, I don’t get offended being called a “nonner.” That doesn’t mean anything to me. Even sitting behind the desk, we talk to the pilots as they are doing the things they do downrange. It’s definitely a thrill being that close to everything going on.

What is one thing that is taken for granted about your job?

The desk sitting. Definitely sitting behind a mouse and keyboard for a good portion of the day.

What impact have you made in your career field and at this base?

I have to go back to the deployment thing again, especially when we were back in Bagram [Air Base, Afghanistan] and the attack happened while we were there. They came onto base, and we put our guys up in the air to defend the base and everybody on it, our people and people we don’t know, and we got neutralized the threat immediately and in an orderly fashion.