Flight attendant keeps passengers safe

Master Sgt. Oriel Rodriquez, 73rd Airlift Wing flight attendant, takes care of safely helping passengers disembark down the stairs with their luggage during a recent C-40C trip. In addition to the maintainers on the ground and the pilots who fly the aircraft, it takes a special person to make in-flight service and safety a priority for high-level passengers. VIPs in the past have included the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first lady of the United States, the secretary of state, secretary of the interior, the CIA director and leaders from other countries. These passengers are the top priority for Airmen flight attendants who must also juggle other duties whether on the ground or at 25,000 feet. "I love being a flight attendant because it is challenging, yet very rewarding, and we are able to provide the best service possible and see some amazing places. At the end of a 10 day mission when the passengers thank you, and shake your hand when they leave the airplane, that's the best part of the entire mission," said Master. Sgt. Oriel Rodriguez, 73rd AS flight attendant. The schooling required of flight attendants involves a lot more than just learning how to cook. Attendants are trained and tested in many aspects of the flying portion of the mission including conducting a pre-flight inspection, handling in-flight emergencies and evacuating passengers in an emergency landing. Training is focused on customer service, which flight attendants are expected to deliver at all times, in good weather and bad. They take care of personally loading all the customer baggage by hand underneath the plane when it sunny, and when it is raining or snowing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Stan Paregien)

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