Air Force Tactical Aircraft Maintenance (2A3X7) are the first and last points of contact before and after a flight.
These individuals are in charge of inspecting every component of an aircraft to ensure it is ready for flight.
Tactical Aircraft Maintenance work on specialized aircraft including fighters, strike-fighters and attack planes.
Education, Qualifications and Training
This is a mechanical position that can sometimes require high-security clearance, depending on assigned duty.
Individuals must have at minimum a High School Diploma or GED.
They must take and pass the Air Force Mechanical ASVAB test.
It is preferred that individuals have knowledge relating to the principles of aircraft systems.
Individuals must be at least 17 years old with parental consent, 18 without and no older than 39.
Recruits in this position, like a lot of other Air Force positions, must have normal color vision.
The Air Force will require completion of a current National Agency, Local Agency and Credit check for this position.
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All recruits will attend Basic Military Training for 8.5 weeks.
After Basic Training enlistees will attend Airmen’s week.
Airmen’s week is a, you guessed it, one week long course that covers core values of the Air Force prior to going into Technical training.
Technical school for this position is located at Sheppard AFB in Texas.
The length of time for technical training will depend on the aircraft.
What does Air Force Tactical Aircraft Maintenance do?
Tactical Aircraft Maintenance inspect and ensure every component of an aircraft are at the highest performance standard it can be.
Individual tasks may vary based on location or the type of aircraft the person specializes in.
These specialist will prepare pre- and post-flight inspections.
When they receive the aircraft back from a pilot they will look at landing gear, engine, clean the canopy and check all parts of the aircraft.
Any maintenance that needs to be performed will be completed by Tactical Aircraft Maintenance.
The maintenance information will be logged and tracked.
The data will be routinely monitored to identify any potential trends.
In addition to manual and vision inspections, electronic maintenance data and logs will also be used to diagnose and resolve any issues.
After an engine has been repaired the Tactical Aircraft Maintenance specialist will perform functional testing to ensure it is safe for flight.
Any adjustments that are needed after the functional testing will be made and logged appropriately.
Specialist will create maintenance schedules and ensure that the schedules are being adhered to.
These specialist will supervise and often assist in any recovery of aircraft.
This could be at a crash site or launch site.
You can view the video below for a job description for a Crew Chief.
What does Tactical Aircraft Maintenance get paid?
When individuals enter the Air Force in the enlisted 2A3X7 career path, they can expect to be paid based on the pay table below.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2023 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-1 +4 months||Airman Basic||AB||$1,917.60|
|E-3||Airman First Class||A1C||$2,259.90|
|E-8||Senior Master Sergeant||SMSgt||$4,957.20|
|E-9||Chief Master Sergeant||CMSgt||$6,055.50|
|E-9||Command Chief Master Sergeant||CCM||$6,055.50|
|E-9||Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air Force||CMSAF||$6,055.50|
Individuals will be on the low end of the base pay table through Basic Training.
The career path for this position is Basic Training, Apprentice Technical School (3-skill level), Journeyman (5-skill level), Craftsman (7-skill level), Noncommissioned Officer Academy, USAF Senior NCO Academy and Superintendent.
As you increase through the career path and in rank, so does your pay.
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In addition to pay, all airmen receive benefits.
The benefits are offered for free or for low cost depending on factors such as location, family status and rank.
Benefits include: insurance, vacation, retirement, housing and food allowance, education and recreation.
See a full list of pros and cons of joining the Air Force here.
And you can find more details on Air Force pay and rank structure here.
The job reviews for this position are mixed.
Most individuals really like the position or really dislike the position.
This position requires long hours and manual labor.
But, the work that you perform can be very rewarding.
A few reviews from previous Tactical Aircraft Maintenance can be found below.
Civilian Job Opportunities
This position will allow individuals to gain maintenance experience.
It is hard to gauge the exact job functions of this position considering they change based on location and aircraft, but possible civilian positions relating to the basic job functions include:
- Aviation Technician and Inspector
- Aircraft Test Technician
- Flight Readiness Technician
- Aircraft Mechanic
- Safety Inspector
- Aircraft Cleaner
The pay for these positions will start around $40-50,000 and increase depending on location, business type, related experience and title.
Air Force Tactical Aircraft Maintenance (2A3X7) are responsible for inspecting and ensuring the aircraft is safe to fly.
The Tactical Aircraft Maintenance will perform any maintenance and document all maintenance activities.
This position requires the Mechanical ASVAB test and is an entry-level position with potential high-security clearance needed.
There are opportunities in aviation mechanics that relate to this position in the civilian sector.
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