Suited for success: Travis trains on integrated aircrew body armor with Eglin AFB Published March 14, 2014 By Staff Sgt. Christopher Carranza 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Travis aircrew and aircrew flight equipment Airmen trained with integrated aircrew body armor systems to help the 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., collect operational performance data on multiple airframes, March 3 to 7 on the flightline. "As of now there are 15 different body armor systems available to the Air Force and we hope to narrow it down to two variations," said Tech. Sgt. Arvin Baldorado, 60th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician. "The integrated system is more convenient for aircrew and saves time for mission preparation, meaning that the system is more adaptable to whatever the mission calls for." Travis was chosen as the first base for testing because of the three airframes that operate here, C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III and KC-10 Extender, which made the location optimal for testing. "This opportunity has benefited everyone," said Maj. Christopher Hoppin 60th OSS Aircrew Flight Equipment Officer. "We are helping the 28th from Eglin gather their data and our AFE Airmen and aircrew experts are voicing their opinion about how this combat equipment can help us better perform our mission." For the 1,400 active and Reserve aircrew members at Travis, there are approximately 50 AFE Airmen servicing and handling their mission required equipment. "As an aircrew member we are put into situations in which our lives depend on our equipment," Hoppin said. "Our equipment has to be above all reliable and effective. This testing has been the opportunity to ensure that happens. With such an emphasis on physical responsibilities, this program could potentially save a lot of money. By identifying shortfalls now in testing as opposed to later in the field, we are able to positively impact future generations of Airmen." The AFE technicians completed maintenance, sizing, fitting evaluations and support testing with aircrew. "I believe with these advanced systems being implemented, we are replacing a lot of outdated equipment," Baldorado said. "Integrating the survival vest and body armor essentially kills two birds with one stone and improves aircrew performance and convenience." "This has been a very unique opportunity that doesn't come up often," Hoppin said. "I am proud to be part of Travis AFE and see our AFE technicians apply their expertise into an important program. This testing could not have been accomplished without our AFE Airmen."