A Cessna 172 Skyhawk trainer aircraft marshals in the arrival of a program which will benefit all interested joint-service members at Ramstein Air Base, Sept. 17.
Within the past year, the 86th Maintenance Group has been working to set up an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certification program on base that will enhance the skillset of Airmen.
“With an A&P license, we’re building that multi-capable Airman and allowing our folks to be better, more agile maintainers,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Clifford Thebodeau, 86 AMXS superintendent.
The A&P license shows that a person has the knowledge and skillset to inspect, maintain and repair an aircraft.
To be eligible to participate in the program requires service members to provide proof of aviation experience and complete a written exam.
“From start to finish, it’s going to be about a two-week process,” said Master Sgt. Jaime Febus, 86 AMXS production superintendent. “The first week we are going to provide practical hands-on training. They’ll be taught skills such as shooting rivets, operating a torch, bending metal, repairing blades, a lot of things you can’t learn from reading a book.”
Febus went on to say that the second week is going to be available for them to study, then they’ll be evaluated by the Designated Mechanic Examiner which takes anywhere from eight to 12 hours.
A base facility houses the Cessna 172, tools and equipment that will be used for service members to be evaluated by the DME and earn their license.
“Our goal is to not only prepare service members for their oral and practical exams, we also want to make it more convenient to test here at Ramstein,” Febus said.
Prior to the efforts of leadership bringing this program to Ramstein, Airmen had to go to the continental United States to obtain their A&P license.
“Approximately five to seven thousand dollars is what the Airmen were incurring before Master Sgt. Febus and his team developed this regionalized program so that it is no longer out of pocket for them, it’s right here in Ramstein,” Thebodeau said.
The A&P certification program will enhance the skill set of Airmen who keep aircraft flying and the mission going.