Airmen from the 363rd TRS train on loading munitions on a B-52. The B-52 Armament Systems Apprentice course teaches airmen the fundamentals of B-52 armament systems. (US Air Force Photo/Josh Wilson)
B-52 Aircraft Armament Systems Apprentice Course

by Josh Wilson
Sheppard Public Affairs

6/12/2012 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, TX -- Training B-52 Aircraft Armament Systems Apprentice Airmen is the job of the 363rd Training Squadron at Sheppard. The course teaches Airmen the fundamentals of B-52 armament systems as well as servicing, inspecting, installation, removal, troubleshooting and maintenance of conventional and common rotary launching systems and associated components.

Students begin with 18 days of armament fundamentals training inside a classroom and upon completion progresses to 68 days of hands-on B-52 armament systems training.

"Typically we will have about six to eight classes per year and over 100 students annually." Said Staff Sgt. Antonio Harris, 363rd TRS Instructor. "We teach the students aircraft familiarization as well as weapons familiarization."

"Blocks one and two are in the classroom, then blocks three and four are more hands-on." said Airmen Aeron Falknor. "We learn how to safety wire, load and unload munitions, and It's a big change once we get down to the actual aircraft."

One great advantage to the B-52 training the 363rd TRS provides, is the ability for the students to gets hands-on with the aircraft, and know what to expect when they get their first assignment in the operational field.

"It's great that we get to actually work hands on with the B-52," said Airmen Melissa Weir. "A lot of areas are not as fortunate in that we have the ability to actually see firsthand what we will be dealing with in the field."