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New wireless headsets improve base operations

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Evan Lichtenhan
  • 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Until recently, 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) crew chiefs performing maintenance on the ground used headsets wired into the B-52H Stratofortress to communicate with the crew inside. The wires raised a number of concerns, to include mobility and the price of replacing the wires.

“Today’s Airmen need to be more maneuverable, and having wires that are out, being stepped on, ran over, in the cold being bent and cracked and replaced two to three times a year, is not frugal,” said Tech Sgt. Bryon Mordhorst, 5th Contracting Squadron contracting officer. “So we are saving money in terms of not replacing the wires as much, but also as being more maneuverable."

Originally, the headsets were connected directly to the B-52, and this caused a significant inconvenience for crew chiefs. With the new wireless headsets, Airmen can perform duties more efficiently.

“These headsets will also be really nice for training,” said Senior Airman Sebastian Avila, 5 AMXS crew chief. “For our new Airmen coming in, it will help us out because we won’t get our cords tangled up while working together. The new Airmen can also listen in to what interactions are required to communicate with air crew.”

Not all of the 624 wireless headset kits currently available for use, but the rest are expected to arrive in the near future. While there are only a few available, Avila explained the Airmen in his squadron are thrilled to have the new headsets implemented into their unit and that the modern design has been a long-awaited upgrade. The new headsets offer the ability for four headsets to be connected simultaneously, and the headsets can be used continuously for 24 hours on a fully charged battery.

“We have been talking about this for such a long time, now it finally happened,” said Avila. “We actually got to try it out for the first time, that was really cool.”

After a concerted effort between multiple agencies, crew chiefs will no longer be tied down by cables; enabling them to work faster, safer and more efficiently.