Avionics Technicians/Weapons Loaders

So you want to be a Viper driver, mechanic, loader, avionics technician...? Here you will learn that you will need education, hard work and steadfast dedication.
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badger115fw

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Unread post19 Oct 2005, 03:09

Hey Everyone,

I am just about set to join the Air Guard, but I need some quick advice. I was going to take a crew chief position, but none are currently available, so I am considering weapons loading, or avionics technician. If any weapons loaders or current avionics techs could let me know about your job, if you like it, and what you do on a day to day basis, I would greatly appreciate it.

I want a job that gets me close to the aircraft and where i can learn a lot about the Viper or its systems. What kind of things do you learn in tech school for weapons loading and avionics, which allows you to get around the aircraft more?

These are just some of the questions I had. I really want to like what I do and more importantly, get hands on experience with the jets. Length of tech school doesn't matter. ANYONE's insight into these, or other jobs that I maybe haven't considered would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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CJE&E

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Unread post19 Oct 2005, 06:24

Take a look at Electronics and Environmental Systems, thats what I do and it is great
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Eggroll135R

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Unread post19 Oct 2005, 13:35

CJE&E wrote:Take a look at Electronics and Environmental Systems, thats what I do and it is great


I'm E&E and also enjoy it! It's a great job if you want to learn an aircraft from nose to tail because you have to work with everybody else that works on the jet. If you are stuck between avionics and weapons, go with avionics if you want to know more about the entire aircraft.
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deesnutz

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Unread post24 Oct 2005, 07:07

SPECS RULE!! Whether you are Avionics, E&E or Engines, we control the jet. I'm avionics myself and I can safely say that we as SPECS work over 85% of the aircraft. Weapons is a mindless activity which requires you to load bombs. Its about job satisfaction. I fix things practically every system on the aircraft, including the weapons delivery system, weapons loads bombs. Always remember that SPECS RULE.
Sgt Deesnuts
"SPECS RULE"
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dragracingmaniac

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Unread post24 Oct 2005, 11:22

SPECS RULE!! Whether you are Avionics, E&E or Engines, we control the jet. I'm avionics myself and I can safely say that we as SPECS work over 85% of the aircraft. Weapons is a mindless activity which requires you to load bombs. Its about job satisfaction. I fix things practically every system on the aircraft, including the weapons delivery system, weapons loads bombs. Always remember that SPECS RULE.

...word
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mckenzy7

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Unread post07 Nov 2005, 11:25

Without Weapons the Guard is just an expensive flying club. If you like hanging out INSIDE a shop with other computer geeks working on avionics...go with avionics. If you want to come OUTSIDE on the flightline where the men and the airplanes are, work with mens tools and equipment, all the lastest weapons, smell the jet fumes, the jet noise, in 110 degree heat or 20 degree cold with freezing rain come to Weapons.

In weapons you get to see and be close to other airplanes. EOR at Nellis is a blast. I've been close enough to touch GR.1s, Mirage 2000s, RSAF F-16s, B-2s, F-3s, F-15Es, IDF/AF F-16s, Dutch F-16s, Belgian F-16s, Canberras, etc. When depoyed I and a group of loaders and CCs stood on the side of the runway and watched an AN-124 pass 50 feet over our heads and land. In Savannah my shop chief and I launched a USMC F-18 out of the chocks because there was no Marine ground crew.

If you like learning all the ins and outs of the F-16, avionics is the way to go. But, if you like being around airplanes...seeing them, hearing them, and feeling them.......WEAPONS!!!

Weapons Load Crew Chief


A Weapons Loader can become anything that he likes, I began as a weapons loader back in 1985, since that time I have worked the flightline, load barn, and release shop on the F-16. Later I decided to get a change of enviroment, so went to work as a Comm/Nav on C-130's in the Reserves. Later I decided that I wanted to work something else, so I got a job with Lockheed Space Systems, I worked at the Shuttle Avionic Intergration Lab as a networking technician at the Johnson Space Center. Now I work the Electrical part of the F-16 for Lockheed Martin, I handle anything that has a wire attached to it. So, just because you are a Weapons Loader, dont let that limit you like a specialist.
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stutler

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Unread post07 Nov 2005, 15:48

For some reason they dont teach SPECS how to open up there own panels. Always seems like crew dogs and weapons have to do that for them.
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Eggroll135R

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Unread post08 Nov 2005, 12:43

stutler wrote:For some reason they dont teach SPECS how to open up there own panels. Always seems like crew dogs and weapons have to do that for them.


I always open my own panels....Closing them on the other hand :shock:

J/K...Usually it's a team effort. If I have all shift to fix a minor problem (It happens...RARELY) and time is not a factor, I have no problem opening/securing my own panels. If you are a crew chief and want to stand next to the pilot while I do all the panels myself during a redball, I have no problem with that either. I get paid whether the jet launches on time or not at all.....
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16spec

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Unread post08 Nov 2005, 14:17

2A332 Avionics technicans DO NOT work inside an office or shop. As deesnuts has said, you will be in charge of maintaining over 85% of all the systems on the aircraft. You would be working inside the cockpit on a daily basis, troubleshooting problems with the communications, navigation, radar, flight controls, ECM, weapons delivery systems (targeting pods, lasers, all that stuff)... you will learn to work just about everything, from nose to tail on the F-16. A weapons loader is just that, a weapons loader. They carry the bombs/missles over to the wing, and bolt them on the pylon. If you would like more information about either of these jobs then check out this site.. they have lots of good info on the air force and military life in general.

2A332 F-16 Avionics Technician
2W1X1 Aircraft Armament Systems
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badger115fw

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Unread post08 Nov 2005, 20:47

Hey everyone, Thanks for all the replies. You guys are a great help, I just had another quick question...16SPEC maybe you can help, I took a look at all the information that you posted (great info), but the job code I have on the sheet I got from the recruiter is different than the one you posted. It is 2A352 NOT 2A332. Is there a difference between these two jobs or are they just different codes. It says Avionics Systems, so I'm guess this is the one I want? I have a call in to the recruiter but thought I'd ask here too. If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks again!
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sweetpete

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Unread post08 Nov 2005, 22:48

Badger, 2A352 and 2A332 are the same job just different skill level. It goes like this....
2A3X2-Avionics Tech unqualified
2A332-Avionics Tech graduated from tech school (3 level)
2A352-Avionics Tech who has completed all 3 level requirements and 5 Level Correspondence courses (CDC's) (5 Level)
2A372-Avionics Tech who hass completed all previously listed training as well as 7 level CDC's and resident school. (7 level )
2A392-Supervisory position

As you progress through your career the 4th character, 2A3_2 will change to indicate your current skill level. By the way go if these are your only two choices my advice would be to go Avionics, but it's your life.

Hope this helps

Peter
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badger115fw

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Unread post09 Nov 2005, 05:00

Peter...Thanks a lot for the quick reply, great explanation, it makes things a lot clearer. I really want to get hands on experience and learn as much as I can about the Viper so it seems Avionics is the way to go. Thanks again! You guys are all a great help!
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Loader

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Unread post09 Nov 2005, 20:30

16spec wrote:... A weapons loader is just that, a weapons loader. They carry the bombs/missles over to the wing, and bolt them on the pylon. ...


Not that I'm here to stir things up, however all career field carry a certain pride for their jobs.

Me, I'm a retired (3 yrs ago) weapons technician, and loaders do a lot more than just load bombs. They maintain the armament system, to include operation (electrical) checkouts repair various compents of the jet, they also reconfigure the jet, and perform gun system maintenance. Depends on how the base/sqaudron is set up. Heck, weapons replaces the wing harnesses at the bases I was assigned at.

To say one career field on the flight line has access to more of the jet another is not quite true. It is what you make of it, especialy when you first hit the ramp. All the jobs will give you various opportunities to work the jet. It is just what aspect of the jet interests you.

Why not ask your recruiter to take you out to a base active, ANG or AFRC to see for yourself.

Me, through out my career I worked F-16, F-4, HH-60, crossloaded many NATO jets, servied as a load crew member, load crew chief, tech school instructor, shop chief, production expediter, and Pro Super.

Also, ask your recruiter about the chance to work other aircraft, weapons can go to any jet/aircraft in the inventory, where as crew chiefs and specs are typically limited to certain type, for example fighter or bombs, or heavys, or say F-117/F-16. The guys in those careers can clear that up.

Bottom line, no matter what career field you pick, it is up to you to make it a great career.

Sorry for rambling. Best of luck to you in your career, and thanks for serving! :D
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Operator

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Unread post10 Nov 2005, 10:46

I too am not here to stir up trouble but the fact remains Specs do handle more than anyone else on the jet. And we spend more time on the flightline than weapons. Spend a day on the flightline and you'll see this. I've been to Cannon AFB, Osan AB, and Luke AFB and it's all the same. Now does that mean Weapons doesn't work and their job is simple. No by all means!!!!!!! But take into account some facts. You need higher ASVAB scores to get into Avionics and that's for a reason. Our tech school is is also alot longer. We spend 2 months learning Electronic Principles and then 5 months learning Avionics. When it comes to the flightline I've often been sent out to help weapons troubleshoot wiring. Why because they weren't trained to the extent that I was in wiring/troubleshooting. Once again thats not putting them down thats just how the training goes. Avionics is tied into just about every facet of the aircraft. While weapons is more isolated. Do both enjoy their jobs. Yes. Do both require smarts and training. Yes. It's just that one requires a bit more and thus we are trained and prepared for that.
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Eggroll135R

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Unread post10 Nov 2005, 12:31

Also, ask your recruiter about the chance to work other aircraft, weapons can go to any jet/aircraft in the inventory, where as crew chiefs and specs are typically limited to certain type, for example fighter or bombs, or heavys, or say F-117/F-16. The guys in those careers can clear that up.

[/quote]

That's another reason I like being E/E. I get to work with everyone on the aircraft. Plus, we are not limited to airframes. I have experience on KC-135A/Q/R/T's, B-1B, MH-53J, MC-130P, and now F-16C/D's. Plus I have experience working in backshop where E/E maintains batteries, cryogenic equipment and does component repair.
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