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Cold weather can't stop desert-dwelling Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nora Anton
  • 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Working in a cold-weather environment may not be in the repertoire of desert-dwelling maintainers up here for Red Flag-Alaska 07-1, but these Luke Airmen don't seem to mind and they're not about to let it affect their mission.

"To be honest, if it wasn't chilly here I would probably be disappointed," Staff Sgt. Craig Bair, 61st Fighter Squadron F-16 crew chief, said of the 30-degree April 4 weather he experienced when his team got here. "But I did think it was going to be colder."

Currently Luke AFB, Ariz., is experiencing 75- to 90-degree weather, which presents a certain hurdle for the Airmen to gather cold weather gear for their trip.

"Coming from such a warm environment as Luke, we knew we had to outfit everyone with the proper gear," said 1st Lt. Sarah Ziegler, 61st FS maintenance OIC. "Fortunately, the weather has cooperated so far."

Senior Airman Richard Adamowich, 61st FS F-16 avionics journeyman, has been to Alaska once previously and admits he likes seeing trees again compared to flat, arid desert.

The Airmen concur that the most nominal difference working in this environment is the protective gear that must be worn.

"It's amazing how fast your body acclimates itself to an environment," said Airman Adamowich. "We still have to wear a lot more gear than at Luke."

"The colder weather makes us move a little slower as far as getting all of our jackets and other clothing on," said Sergeant Bair, who is in charge of doing final checks on all the jets.

The biggest difference for Airman Adamowich is wearing gloves while he does his aircraft checks with radar and making sure the systems are all working correctly.

"The gloves really take away from your dexterity when working," he said.

Overall, the Luke Airmen say they are enjoying their trip and admit Alaska lives up to its rough reputation.

"The scenery is good," said Airman Adamowich, "but I think this place would take a lot of getting adjusted to."