121st ARW helps 'shape' new standards for aviator career fields
Story by Tech. Sgt. James Courtright, 121st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (06/30/22)
For the past 55 years, enlisted members of aviator career fields such as flight attendants, loadmasters and inflight refueling specialists have been held to the same height and body composition standards for all aircraft.
“That standard was based on the population of pilots who were in the Air Force in 1967,” said Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Dawson, the Air National Guard career enlisted aviator career field manager. “That was based on people in the Air Force then and eliminates half of the (current) U.S. population from performing these duties.”
Coordinating among Air Force operations, National Guard Bureau operations, the Air Force Women’s Initiative Team, the Ohio Air National Guard’s 121st Air Refueling Wing and the Airmen Accommodation Laboratory, about 30 Airmen of all shapes and sizes volunteered to be measured and scanned to help realize the true size of the current force, Dawson said. Opening the accommodation window will allow a bigger recruiting population to come into these jobs.
This will open up the recruiting pool to these jobs and create a much more capable Air Force
“This will open up the recruiting pool to these jobs and create a much more capable Air Force,” Dawson said. “Allowing that diversity of thought from their background, gender, orientation, race and religion is what fosters innovation. This has to be done if we want to remain a competitive military power in the world.”
The 121st Air Refueling Wing, located at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, is the only ANG unit included in the study. The other participating units come from the active duty and Air Force Reserve.