Wilcox BOSS Xe

Tyndall AFB leads way in authorizing shorts on flight line


Working any job on the flight line can be an arduous task, but scorching heat and thick humidity can easily raise the temperature to triple digits along the long strip of pavement before sunrise.

Chief Master Sgt. Brent Salvadori, 325th Maintenance Group (MXG) superintendent, devised a way over the past 18 months to keep Airmen comfortable in the heat, without sacrificing mission accomplishment.

The 325th MXG Airmen are officially approved to wear shorts on the flight line when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees outside of a climate controlled area.

“When asked the question, ‘Should I?’ my response is simple, ‘It’s what my Airmen want, and this is what Chiefs do,” said Salvadori. “We make things happen for our Airmen. This who we are, and this is what we do.”

The idea originated from the 95th Aircraft Maintenance Unit deployment to Al Dhafra Air Base in southwest Asia, said Salvadori. The AMU was permitted to wear shorts while they were deployed and upon return Salvadori reached out for the local guidance authorizing Al Dhafra’s shorts to integrate them at home station. 

“After review, it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” said Salvadori. “It was a long journey, as with any time you try to change something this drastic. But, when you peel the onion back, our fellow aircraft maintenance contractors and depot civilians have been wearing shorts in the same industrial environment while performing the same maintenance actions. So, why not Airmen?”

The shorts are incredibly beneficial and serve as a cooler alternative to wear during the day while the heat and humidity is unbearable, said SrA Michael Conard, 325th MXS Aerospace Ground Equipment journeyman.

Through this effort other bases, such as Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida, Beale AFB and Edwards AFB in California and Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina are utilizing this idea for their flight lines.

This new attempt at innovation for flight line Airmen embodies their motto of #AWESOME: Always With Excellence Supporting Our Mission Everyday.

By Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum, 325th Fighter Wing

16 Responses to “Tyndall AFB leads way in authorizing shorts on flight line”

  1. John Hardy says:

    “When asked the question, ‘Should I?’ my response is simple, ‘It’s what my Airmen want, and this is what Chiefs do,” said Salvadori. “We make things happen for our Airmen. This who we are, and this is what we do.”

    Outfreakingstanding! I applaud yet another Senior Marine/Soldier/Sailor/Airman taking care of his troops in a way that actually helps!

  2. Talon2Nav says:

    Where can someone find a list of approved suppliers? I hope they have to be Berry Compliant…

  3. Adam says:

    They look sharp.

  4. Bill says:

    A great window into inspired leadership from beginning to end, and an excellent takeaway of how not to be. From the quality of leadership that required the better part of two years to decide shorts in severe heat/humidity was allowable, and then sought recognition for that decision, to the good news that at least it’s not as sad as “#AWESOME: Always With Excellence Supporting Our Mission Everyday”. Imagine being the dude challenged (both in the tasking and educational meanings of the word) to sit down and come up with a motto, and that was your best effort result.

  5. Kirk says:

    Uhmmm… Where the hell are the safety guys, with this? Half the reason you wear pants is for protection, and I can’t imagine working the flight line is any different than any other work site.

    This is going to last right up until someone gets severe burns on exposed skin, or is injured by a chemical spill.

    Some lessons just have to be relearned continuously, I suppose–The current mania for synthetic materials in boots is one I look at, and wonder about. During Vietnam, one of the reasons they kept the jungle boot canvas was specifically because of fire injuries with the prototype nylon versions, which is something we seem to have forgotten.

    • SSD says:

      Both contractors and allied ground crews wear shorts. They aren’t experiencing safety issues.

    • Payce says:

      During jobs where those are possibilities we wear the proper PPE, this is a nonissue. I went from Active to Contractor at the same base doing the exact same job and wearing shorts on the flightline for the last 5 years has never been a problem.

    • Yawnz says:

      Comparing an active combat zone to CONUS airbases is hilarious.

  6. Payce says:

    I’m a contractor at a base I was stationed at and doing the same job as when I was in, we get to wear shorts on the flightline and it’s honestly such an improvement.

  7. SGT Heintz says:

    Yet another reminder of why I should have joined the Air Force! Thanks.

  8. EODMadBomb says:

    As long as they don’t authorize UDT’s it’s all good.

  9. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    “It’s what they want”
    So much wrong with that statement

    • Anibal P says:

      Found the shitty NCO!! Screw your troops, right? It’s all about stroking your ego and BS “uniformity”

  10. Christian McVickers says:

    I remember seeing Air Force guys in Diego Garcia wearing modified BDU’s. short trouses and short sleeve blouses.

  11. Ross says:

    Always thought it silly that American troops are not authorized to wear shorts. We wore shorts in the “old country” and managed to slot a lot of terrs while staying cool and refreshingly breezy!

  12. Dan says:

    I would love to just unblouse my pants!