Nine Airmen became the first Air Force recruits to graduate initial skills technical training as F-35 Lightning II crew chiefs after completing Mission-Ready Airmen training Aug. 7.
“The opportunity to be the first of something so important means a lot. I know many people are looking at us to be the best – it’s a big honor,” said Airman 1st Class Saovada Pum.
“To be among the first to earn my 3-Level as an F-35 Crew Chief is a feeling of responsibility and also a significant measure of pride,” said Airman 1st Class Gideon Burris. “It’s special because the F-35 is the most technologically advanced aircraft in the air.”
For both students, graduation was the culmination of months of training within the 82nd Training Wing that spanned two bases and three squadrons. After completing Basic Military Training, they headed to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, for aircraft fundamentals with the 362nd Training Squadron. Then it was on to Eglin AFB, Florida, first for F-35-specific training with the 359th Training Squadron followed by Mission-Ready Airmen training with Detachment 19, 372nd Training Squadron, which tested their ability to apply their training in an operational environment.