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ANG Crew Chief duties

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Posted

How is the crew chief position in the ANG? Anyone willing to provide some info on what the job is like. My local unit flies fighters but I'm looking for feedback from any airframe. I've read the info listed on about.military.com I'm just looking for someone's opinion on the job. The good and bad. Thanks

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Posted (edited)

A crew chief is a jack of all trades when it comes to aircraft maintenance. You will launch and recover aircraft (read: help pilot pre-flight, do systems check, marshall to EOR, marshall from EOR, debrief pilot when aircraft breaks...). You will perform basic maintenance tasks. Unless you work Phase get ready for working outside all the time on the flightline. The more indepth work on aircraft will either by done by specialists (such as avionics of which I was) or in Phase which is a scheduled inspection/maintenance in hanger (crew chiefs do this as well, but they are assigned to the phase shop).

The bad: the weather can suck. The jets break. The hours vary. You get dirty. Dealing with pilots (listen to Dos Gringos "I'm a Pilot")

The good: you get to work jets. Tip of the spear compared to most. It's nice to work outside (when its not really hot or cold or raining). You have a great mission. Most pilots are awesome dudes and if that is where you want to go you have an in (lotta zipper-suited sun gods from my Guard unit were former crew chiefs).

Edited by jcollins
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Posted (edited)

Collins hit the nail on the head. Just be prepared to accept fixing the jet comes first. Out of all the maintenance personnel you will be the one always working.

Edited by JSpoon
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Posted

Think....glorified gas-station attendant. You do a little windshield cleaning....change a few tires....and always walk around with a funny smell about you.

:thumbsup:

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Posted

The smell is the worst part. Apparently chicks don't dig JP-8 :banghead:

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Posted

Oh shiza! Thanks for the info. The smell of jet fuel + my '86 buick= irresistible. Right now I'm planning on crew chief. Would anyone recommend, aircraft structural (i think that's what it's called) or propulsion systems over crew chief?

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Posted

I can't say I've always enjoyed being a crew chief, but I'm glad I did it.

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Posted

Sheetmetal or Engine Shop over Crew Chief? HELL NO! You'll never find this EagleKeeper doing that!

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Posted

Sheetmetal or Engine Shop over Crew Chief? HELL NO! You'll never find this EagleKeeper doing that!

I agree with Marco. There were times when the specialists were back in the shop and I was out in the wind/rain/snow/heat/etc. that I might have second guessed my choice for a minute, and you'll do plenty of aircraft washes, lubes, tire changes (that probably won't be the highlight of your week) but it's YOUR jet, you coordinate everything that happens with it. It's more than being a 'quicky lube' guy, I did everything from changing engines between "go's", to replacing wings, to running engines, to 'live' ABDR (how the hell are we going to fix that?!?), to saluting pilots as they pulled out of chocks on a combat sortie - hoping that you'd see them home in a couple of hours.

I never had the opportunity to fly in my jet and can't even imagine what it would be like to do it for a living, but of the jobs on the flightline, there isn't another that I'd choose.

Mike

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Posted

I crewed F117s for four years and then F16s for eight more. The ONLY job I would take over being a Crew Chief is being a pilot. I now fly KC135s.

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Posted

Thanks now it's time to jump through all the hoops and sign up.

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Posted

Just wanted to post an update. Meeting with the recruiter in the next few days to sign the papers. Two big questions that the recruiter answered and I would like to verify with members on here are:

Deployments after tech school: I was told that upon returning from tech school you are not immediately deployeable because you are essentially a journeyman and have continued studies that must be completed before being deployable. I find this slightly weird that you wouldn't be able to continue with your career track while in the desert. I could be wrong but if someone with experience could clarify what I'm being told that would help.

Separation from a unit: I was told that if I'm selected for a commission in any armed services because it is career progression that the unit will allow me to separate and pursue a commission. The recruiter told me that if I wanted to transfer to AD enlisted this is not the case but if I'm selected for commission they allow it.

Thanks again for all the advice.

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