Packing the Perfect Parachute: 307th Bomb Wing Airman earns AFRC honor

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Celeste Zuniga
  • 307th Bomb Wing

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Carter Harris, assigned to the 307th Operations Support Squadron, earned Air Force Reserve Command honors as the Aircrew Flight Equipment Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for 2022.

Harris oversees the parachute section’s activities and trains Airmen to meet the highly-set standards as an NCOIC.

He was quick to credit his peers with the achievement and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to bring recognition and honor to his section.

“I’m very grateful for this award to represent the people I work with,” he stated. “They helped me grow as an NCO and as a leader.”

Working in the parachute section requires integrity, focus, and motivation. Harris explained that each aircrew flight equipment specialist signs their name on the parachutes, stating the packs are in perfect working order, before sending them out for the crews. With the life of a fellow Airman at stake, there is no room for any mistake or oversight.

“If you don’t have anything to keep you focused, you could grow stagnant,” he said. “Here, you don’t have a choice but to stay focused.”

The Monroe, Louisiana native enlisted in November 2017. His first active duty assignment brought him to Barksdale, only 90 minutes from his hometown.

In June 2021, as his active-duty contract was ending, he was invited to work full-time in the Air Force Reserve. He eventually became supervisor of the parachute section as an Active Guard Reservist.

Harris said he enjoys being busy and works well under the pressure of having others rely on him.

He also said he stays grounded by thinking of his wife, his baby that is due in February, and all of the Airmen depending on him to do his job accurately.