What’s a 1Charlie?
By Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 01, 2019
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Student and instructor pilots line the step desk as they organize their first flights for the day; through the window, the Mississippi sun can be seen casting a golden glow on aircraft as maintainers inspect and prepare them for launch.
Continuous clicks of a mouse can be heard as an airman first class and a major check flight statuses to ensure the pilots are cleared to take off for their training mission. Two buildings over, three Airmen are simultaneously and thoroughly inspecting, correcting and updating hundreds of pilots’ paperwork before they step on the flightline.
These meticulous Airmen are commonly referred to as ‘1Charlies’ based on the Air Force specialty code, 1C0X2, aviation resource managers.
Confirming that paperwork is satisfactory may seem mundane or easy; however, it is a critical part of the Air Force mission and ensures pilots have the proper training to go out and fly a safe sortie. Staff Sgt. Michael Smith, 49th Fighter Training Squadron NCO in charge of aviation resource management, explained this career field demands attention to detail and stresses no Airmen should ever become careless of their work because of the heavy responsibility they bear to keep pilots safe.
A 1Charlie can work in a variety of areas. Those assigned to flying training squadrons handle squadron aviation resource management (SARM) documents and day to day training missions.
“Coming to work in the squadron, you see how valuable you are to the flying missions,” said Senior Airman Kelsey Ganter, 37th Flying Training Squadron aviation resource manager. “(Pilots) can’t leave unless we see confirm their flight documents are correct. Catching the small things and making sure they are flying safe is really rewarding.”
The 14th Operations Support Squadron 1Charlies work in the host aviation resource management office. There, they in-process new students and out-process graduated U.S. Air Force pilots.
Each 1Charlie is not only responsible for their work, but their wingman’s work too. Double or triple checking coworker’s documents is not only critical to a successful flying mission, it’s required.
Our team keeps track of each pilot’s flying records, said Airman 1st Class Joseph Lucero, 14th OSS host aviation resource manager (HARM). The 1Charlies here create the student’s first folders that holds information from their flight hours, total sorties, aircraft flown, flight pay, medical documents, aeronautical orders and more.
At the end of student pilots’ time on Columbus AFB, HARMs do a final process of their documents and give them their pilot rating. It’s a folder that will follow them around for the rest of their career.
“Getting to work with aircrew and pilots is always a really good time,” Smith said. “As long as you have their trust and do what you’re supposed to do they’re going to have your back when you have to unfortunately tell someone they can’t fly that day for whatever reason.”