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AMOC prepares maintenance officers for the flightline

363rd TRS AMOC

From left, 2nd Lts. Yelizaveta Patenko, Weston Elias and Jacob Goodin, students in the Aircraft Maintainance Officer Course, study an engine model to see how the different parts intermingle at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 31, 2018. After commissioning, maintainance officers must train on the fundamentals of maintanance such as avionics, propolusion and more in order to lead their Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Megan Morrissey)

363rd TRS AMOC

From left, 2nd Lts. Yelizaveta Patenko and Weston Elias, students in the Aircraft Maintanance Officer Course, study part of an engine in the class's Engine Lab at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 31, 2018. In AMOC, maintaince officers will gain a basic understanding of maintainance fundamentals including avioncs, propulsion and weapons systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Megan Morrissey)

363rd TRS AMOC

Students in the Aircraft Maintanance Officer Course use an F-111 engine model to learn the parts of an engine and how they work. Every Air Force aircraft maintainance officer comes to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, to learn the fundamentals of aircraft maintanance to lead Airmen trained in career fields that keep the service's fleet flying. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Megan Morrissey)

363rd TRS AMOC

2nd Lt. Yelizaveta Patenko, a student in the Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course, explains the egress system in an F-15 Strike Eagle model at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 31, 2018. The emergency equipment must be continuously checked and rechecked in order to maintain the safety of the operators when they take to the skies. (U.S. Air Force photo 2nd Lt. Megan Morrissey)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Fighter jets are sexy. Everyone knows that.

But 2nd Lt. Jacob Goodin, a student in the 363rd Training Squadron's Aircraft Maintenance Officers Course at Sheppard AFB, knows there is more to it than hopping in an F-15 Strike Eagle and taking to the skies. He spent nine years working as an aircraft electrical and environmental systems maintainer in the enlisted ranks before making the jump to serve as an officer.

“Some people don’t realize how much work goes on when the pilot isn’t in the seat,” he said.

Goodin, stationed at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, said his squadron works hard behind the scenes making sure those pilots have aircraft to fly.

Every Air Force aircraft maintenance officer comes to Sheppard AFB to complete their three-month training, where they learn maintenance fundamentals. Avionics, weapons, propulsion and logistics are just a few examples of what the course covers.

Lucky for him, his prior experience on the enlisted side of aircraft maintenance has benefited him throughout the course. He said, most enlisted maintainers who commission become maintenance officers, which is most beneficial to the Air Force.

The group of officers going through AMOC training right now is one of the largest the program has ever seen, Goodin said. The class consists of 17 students, nine of whom are prior enlisted. This seems to be a trend in the maintenance world, because it is difficult to keep maintenance officers in due to the long hours, deployments, and just the overall demanding job requirements.  

Along with maintaining the aircraft, they maintain the safety of the lives in the flight deck. A simple mistake on a maintainer’s side not only damages aircraft, but endangers lives. Officers need to understand the overall concepts when it comes to maintaining an aircraft, he said. They rely on their Airmen, who are experts in their field.

From takeoff to top speeds to taking a hard landing on the runway, planes go through a daily beating.

“Maintenance’s overall mission is to provide safe and functional aircraft to the operators to accomplish the mission,” he said.

Pilots trust the maintainers to do their jobs, so that sexy fighter jet will do what the Air Force does best – maintain air superiority.