AGE flight implements 32-day training program

Staff Sgt. Garret Jimenez, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, aerospace ground equipment training instructor, teaches three-level Airmen assigned to the AGE Flight how to perform pre-operation inspection procedures on an aircraft servicing cart as part of the new upgrade training program at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 8, 2018. The purpose of the program is to expedite training for newly assigned three-level Airmen by providing a combination of performance and written evaluations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)

Staff Sgt. Garret Jimenez, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, aerospace ground equipment training instructor, teaches three-level Airmen assigned to the AGE Flight how to perform pre-operation inspection procedures on an aircraft servicing cart as part of the new upgrade training program at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 8, 2018. The purpose of the program is to expedite training for newly assigned three-level Airmen by providing a combination of performance and written evaluations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)

Airman Alejandro Gil, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, aerospace ground equipment apprentice, takes notes during classroom training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 8, 2018. The 32-day program familiarizes AGE flight maintenance personnel on pre-operational procedures, service inspections and operational fundamentals on most powered AGE equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)

Airman Alejandro Gil, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, aerospace ground equipment apprentice, takes notes during classroom training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 8, 2018. The 32-day program familiarizes AGE flight maintenance personnel on pre-operational procedures, service inspections and operational fundamentals on most powered AGE equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)

Staff Sgt. Garret Jimenez, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, aerospace ground equipment training instructor, speaks to students during classroom training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 8, 2018. Since implementing the new program, 12 Airmen have graduated, completing 22 five-level core tasks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)

Staff Sgt. Garret Jimenez, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, aerospace ground equipment training instructor, speaks to students during classroom training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 8, 2018. Since implementing the new program, 12 Airmen have graduated, completing 22 five-level core tasks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)

Airmen assigned to the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment flight participate in classroom training as part of a new accelerated upgrade training program implemented at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 8, 2018. The purpose of the program is to train newly assigned three-level AGE apprentices on F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35A Lightning II servicing inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)

Airmen assigned to the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment flight participate in classroom training as part of a new accelerated upgrade training program implemented at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 8, 2018. The purpose of the program is to train newly assigned three-level AGE apprentices on F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35A Lightning II servicing inspections. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexander Cook)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment flight implemented a new program to accelerate training for three-level Airmen on the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35A Lightning II.

Throughout an Airman’s career, on-the-job-training and career development courses are required to progress in career and skill level. These skill levels range from an apprentice, three-level, to a superintendent, nine-level, and play a significant role in an Airman’s career growth.

The new 32-day program consists of both classroom and on-the-job training and was designed to efficiently train three-level Airmen on five-level core tasks.

“The main objective of our new program is to expedite training for our three-level Airmen on five-level core tasks,” said Staff Sgt. Garret Jimenez, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron AGE training instructor. “What would normally take months to get Airmen spun up on, now takes only four weeks with our new program.”

Throughout the four-week program, Airmen are trained to provide service inspections on F-16 and F-35 equipment, flight line driving and operational fundamentals on support equipment. Some of the support equipment AGE Airmen typically service include diesel generators, hydraulic test stands, and flood lights.

“We conduct a short classroom session that provides a brief overview of what we go over that day,” Jimenez said. “After classroom training, we go out into the field to evaluate the students on their job performance, which allows them to display their knowledge of what they’ve just learned in the classroom.”

Since the implementation of the program, 12 Airmen have graduated, completing 22 out of their 29 core tasks.

“This program has helped me tremendously,” said Airman Alejandro Gil, 56th EMS AGE apprentice. “You not only learn how to do your job, but you learn to do it well. In technical school, we don’t get the training needed for the F-35, only for the F-16. Having this training here is very useful in getting us proficient at what we do.”

With the high-pace tempo of the F-35 program and influx of new Airmen, the AGE flight continues to prepare for the future.

“We’re currently training six Airmen in each class; however, in the future we’re looking to increase that number and continue to expand the program,” Jimenez said. “This program helps the productivity of our flight because we’ve drastically reduced the amount of time and manpower it takes to train our three-level Airmen to get them out into the field and mission-ready.

As the fleet of F-35s continues to grow, the AGE flight continues to adapt their training methods to ensure Luke continues to build the future of airpower.