TF-34 aerospace propulsion apprentice earns ACE & top grad award

Staff Sgt. Kyle Langston, stationed at the 176th Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, works on a training problem during the TF-34 aerospace propulsion apprentice course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas Jan. 14, 2013.  Langston was named the ACE award winner and top graduate of his class during a graduation ceremony Jan. 15. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Staff Sgt. Kyle Langston, stationed at the 176th Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, works on a training problem during the TF-34 aerospace propulsion apprentice course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas Jan. 14, 2013. Langston was named the ACE award winner and top graduate of his class during a graduation ceremony Jan. 15. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Staff Sgt. Lyle Langston received both the ACE Award and top graduate honors during a ceremony Jan. 15 after completing the 361st Training Squadron's TF-34 aerospace propulsion engine apprentice course.

The ACE award is the highest academic honor a student can receive and is earned for exceptional performance by maintaining a perfect 100% average through the entire course.

Langston, who is from Anchorage, Alaska, is assigned to the 176th Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and was thrilled to be able to represent his home unit by winning the awards.

"I really wanted to bring home the awards for the 176th (Maintenance Squadron)," Langston said. "It takes alot of dedication and being excellent in what you do, but I knew I could do it."

Each TF-34 class spends 51 days learning to troubleshoot, repair and maintain aircraft engines systems in both the classroom and on-equipment environments.

The TF-34 engine course covers eight blocks of instructions over fundamentals, engine constructional features and systems knowledge, engine accessories removal, inspection and replacement, Low Pressure Turbine assembly removal, disassembly, inspection, reassembly and installation, and A-10 Engine removal and installation.

Graduates earn 17 semester hours towards their associate's degree from the Community College of the Air Force. Upon graduation, the students are awarded a three skill level in Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) 2A631C.