Electrical, environmental keep aircraft systems running

  • Published
  • By Capt. Marnee A.C. Losurdo
  • 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Dover's C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III fleet can't do without it - it's electric and environmental.

From the nose of the aircraft to the tip of its tail, the 512th Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental shop keeps mobility forces in motion by working on practically every electrical, heating, cooling and fire suppression system on an aircraft.

Staff Sgt. Rodney Douglas, E & E systems journeyman in the 512th MXS, is one of six Airmen who inspects, repairs and maintains equipment such as an aircraft's air conditioning; lighting; landing gear; ignition and starting components; warning panels; cabin pressurization; voltage regulators; and motors and valves - just to name a few.

Despite the vast amount of information he has to know to perform his job, Sergeant Douglas said he likes his career field.

"It's challenging; especially considering the level of responsibility I have," said the reservist whose civilian employment is as a nuclear engineer at a naval ship yard in Portsmouth, Va. "Everything I do, I have to do right because doing my job incorrectly can have fatal consequences. The aircraft has to be reliable and ready for the aircrew."

The Virginia resident joined the 512th Airlift Wing in 2001 and attended the four-month technical school at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. While there, he learned about electrical and mechanical principles relating to E & E systems. He also received training in reading blueprints and diagrams on wiring.

To do well at this job you need to have basic knowledge of math, physics and chemistry, said Master Sgt. Jay Haller, the NCO in charge of the E & E shop and Sergeant Douglas' supervisor.

Sergeant Haller is an Air Force Technician, which means he is a full-time civil servant and a reservist in the 512th AW. Part of his job is to train reservists who come in for their weekend training and annual tour.

It's a real challenge to train reservist on everything they need to know to perform their job in a limited amount of time, said the master sergeant.

Despite this difficulty, the 512th E & E shop accomplishes the mission. They are currently in need of additional manpower. New recruits and current wing members who would like to cross train into this career field are eligible for up to a $15,000 bonus. Wing members interested in cross training can call the 512th Airlift Wing career assistance advisor at (302) 677- 3594. New recruits can obtain more information on the Air Force Reserve and this career, by calling the 512th AW Recruiting office at (302) 677-6985.