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Aerospace Ground Equipment: No Air Power, Without Ground Power

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adawn Kelsey
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
Aerospace Ground Equipment shops across the Air Force have a singular motto that defines the nature of the career field: "No air power without ground power." As critical as the mission is in the field to get aircraft off the ground, so too is the responsibility of the 361st Training Squadron to produce Airmen ready to join the fight and provide the ground power necessary to maintain air superiority.

The AGE course is 95 academic days and includes 17 blocks of instruction. During the course, the students work with several different pieces of equipment that support the flight line. AGE technicians maintain the equipment they use on the flight line for the aircraft.

Tech. Sgt. Brian Sherrod, 361st Training Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment assistant flight chief, said AGE technicians work with about 12 different types of equipment throughout the course.

"Airmen learn to work on several different pieces of equipment that are used on the flight line that support (Air Force) air power," the assistant flight chief said. "Airmen work with air generators, hydraulic systems, flood lights and several others."

The course is divided into two different categories.

Staff Sgt. Miriam Fraelich, 361st TRS AGE instructor, said students first learn basic knowledge and fundamentals in Category I.

"Some of the first things students will learn in the course are electrical fundamentals, how to use tools like the multimeter and how to use the TO, a book that teaches the students step-by-step how to use a unit," Sergeant Fraelich said.

She said in Category II the students begin having more hands-on training with the equipment.

"In CAT II they begin working with equipment, troubleshooting and applying that basic knowledge learned during CAT I," Sergeant Fraelich said. "For example, during block 10 they work with the Dash-60 gas turbine engine. It provides electricity to work the aircraft's electrical components, or the bleed air can be used to air-start the aircraft."

Sergeant Fraelich said AGE technicians make sure the equipment for the flightline is maintained and working properly at bases all around the world.

"It is important that we maintain the equipment and make sure that whatever the crew chiefs need is working properly and ready to use," the sergeant said. "Without equipment like the Dash-60 an aircraft might not be able to get off the ground."

Airman 1st Class Franky Frias, 361st TRS AGE apprentice AiT, said his favorite part of the course came when he began applying this basic knowledge and learning the components of new equipment. He said he is proud to be an AGE apprentice and is looking forward to joining his next unit.

"Without ground support the aircraft wouldn't be able to get off the ground to do what they have to do," Airman Frias said. "It makes me proud to know that I am doing what I can to support the mission of the Air Force."