By Fin Truant | Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Service members at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, work on a wide array of missions, some of which may be surprising. For instance, not many people know that a small group of Airmen on Peterson AFB play a crucial role in supporting the United States’ physical presence in space — specifically, Peterson is home to the sole host aviation resource management office that works with American astronauts.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tyrail Toney, 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of the HARM office, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ashley Richards, 21st LRS aviation resource manager, are two of the Airmen responsible for maintaining crucial records for air and space-borne service members.
“When I came [to Peterson] and they told me that, yeah, we actually have astronauts, I was like, that’s really cool,” said Toney. “I’ve always been interested in what those people do, and being in the back, seeing [what we see when] we put in their training and [knowing] whenever someone is actively doing space missions, it’s cool to know that we’re a part of it.”
HARM offices across the Air Force work with a variety of airborne personnel such as crew members, parachutists, flight surgeons and others. Additionally, the Peterson HARM office handles records and documentation for many such personnel beyond their work with astronauts, whether for officers, enlisted or reserve service members.
“We handle all their paperwork: updates, inputs, audits and flight pay,” said Richards.
They also handle aeronautical orders, which record what a service member is or is not cleared to do with respect to the demands of their position — whether or not they’re qualified to fly or jump, and what pay they’re entitled to for these duties.
“We make sure we update their time or their flight data whenever they do any missions or training, as well,” said Toney.
Astronauts require extensive and specialized training, which demands proportionate tracking and oversight to ensure that they’re mission ready, and Peterson Airmen like Toney and Richards are responsible for that tracking. Additionally, the HARM office tracks whether or not astronauts are medically and psychologically qualified to fly, all crucial information.
“It shows that, even though the [U.S.] Space Force is its own entity,” Richards said, “we still have to work together as [sister branches of the military].”