Meet one of the airmen who keep the RQ-4 Global Hawk — a high-altitude, remotely piloted surveillance aircraft — in the sky. Air Force Airman Kieran Coffey is a vehicle maintenance technician, and he explains why his job involves more than just working on a vehicle.
Video by Air Force Airman Jack LeGrand
Airman 1st Class Kieran Coffey: I’m Airman 1st Class Kiren Coffey. I’m a mission-generation vehicle maintenance technician. Doing my job requires many different things. Sometimes it’s just researching parts. Sometimes it has to do with troubleshooting. It’s a fun job, but it’s one of those ones where you kind of have to be willing to be a jack-of-all-trades. You know there will be days when there’s not a lot going on, and, instead, you’re just maintaining the shop. You’re cleaning up things. You’re checking to see what needs to be replaced, or, you know, how much fuel or oil we have left. Or other things like that. But a day-to-day for me would be coming into the shop. Usually, I’m gonna know what vehicles I would be working on, from the day before; or, you know, my shop lead will come to me and say, “Hey, like, this just came in; this is what’s wrong with it.” Or “This is what the technician or the operator is saying is going on. Can you look what it is?” And, then, I would go grab a T.O. and try and, like, troubleshoot from there. There’s always someone on standby that is ready to go out during day or night, any weather condition, anything, and fix that vehicle. It’s critical to the mission because without vehicle maintenance, every single one of these machines that you see next to me wouldn’t operate effectively and efficiently. And we need to keep the flight line completely clear for the Global Hawk to be able to take off, you know, any hour of the day or night. Which is what allows us to be able to have that reconnaissance effect. You know, to be one step ahead of our enemies at every given moment. And that’s what, you know, makes vehicle maintenance so imperative to the Global Hawk mission, specifically.