Air Force

March 14, 2013

An AGE old family tradition

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Senior Airman Camilla Griffin
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Griffin)
Staff Sgt. Mathew Stewart, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment craftsman, troubleshoots a generator here March 8. Sergeant Stewart has been an AGE mechanic for more than seven years.

Staff Sgt. Mathew Stewart, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment craftsman, has a unique family history with the Air Force. Every member in his immediate family has been an enlisted Airman in our great Air Force. What makes his family history even more interesting is the fact that every one of them has served in the Aerospace Ground Equipment career field.

Sergeant Stewart has been in the Air Force for about seven and a half years. He joined knowing exactly what he was going to do.

Mathew’s parents and little brother have been and are AGE craftsmen.

Stewart’s parents met on the job at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., their first duty station.

“My parents met at their first duty station, which was Eglin Air Force Base, back in the 80’s,” said Stewart. “My mom joined in 1988 and my dad joined in 1987.”

Mathew can’t seem to escape his family’s AGE ties, not that he wants to. But every assignment he has had, he has met or worked with someone who worked with one or both his parents.

One of Mathew’s tech school instructors used to work with his mother, and his current flight chief used to work with his father.

“I try to stay away from the flight chief as much as possible,” Stewart said jokingly, when asked if his flight chief gives him grief about working with his father in the past.

Mathew’s father, Tech Sgt. Michael Stewart, was in the AGE career field for 10 years before crosstraining into finance.

Mathew’s mother, Staff Sgt. Dawn Stewart-Schmidt, was in the AGE career field for six years before crosstraining into intelligence.

“Mandatory crosstraining came down and he got ahead of the curve and crosstrained before the Air Force limited the list of jobs available,” said Stewart. “My mother crosstrained into intelligence.

At this point in time I do not intend to crosstrain,” said Stewart. “My favorite aspect of being an AGE mechanic is doing something I am truly interested in and truly love.”

Mathew’s brother Airman Basic Eric Stewart, entered the Air Force in the open mechanical career field and was given a slot in the AGE career field during Basic Military Training.

AGE provides crew chiefs with equipment to service and fix aircraft. For every hour a plane spends in the air, it spends dozens of hours on the ground being maintained and prepped. Those in the AGE career field are responsible for maintaining the equipment that supplies electricity, as well as hydraulic pressure and air pressure, as planes receive maintenance and prepare for flight. Without AGE, our planes would be nothing more than paperweights said Stewart.




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(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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