Investing in the future: 412th MXS hosts high school students on tour

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Nearly 30 students from Victor Valley High School received a close look at the 412th Maintenance Squadron’s Propulsion Flight during a tour of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 3, 2019.

The students were members of the high school’s aviation maintenance classes, which include airframe and power plant classes as well as aircraft composite repair and fabrication.

Gregory Peria, Propulsion Production Superintendent, 412th MXS, believes it is important for Edwards to host students with interests in certain types of technical fields to help prepare them for the future.

“We are trying to spark some interest about getting them into the aviation maintenance field, showing them some of the tasks that they may actually be doing helps with that,” Peria said.

Gregory Peria, Propulsion Production Superintendent, 412th Maintenance Squadron, describes the various components of a jet engine to Victor Valley High School students during their tour of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 3, 2019. The students were members of the high school’s aviation maintenance classes, which include airframe and power plant classes as well as aircraft composite repair and fabrication. (Air Force photograph by Giancarlo Casem)

Peria gave a tour of the engine maintenance facility where the students saw the inner workings of various engines and the high-level of workmanship and precision goes to each one. The students also witnessed a test of an F100-PW-220 engine, found in F-16Ds, at the Jet Engine Test Cell. Test engineers fired up the engine to approximately 24,000 lbs. of thrust which is equal to around
1,500 mph or Mach 2.

The tour was organized by Peria and Eric Silva, an instructor at VVHS. Peria and Silva both served together, starting in the engine maintenance field in the Air National Guard. Through the years, the two maintained contact and eventually Peria wound up at Edwards while Silva became a teacher. “He moved on to become a teacher and I moved up here, but we kept in touch and I have mentioned how hard it has been to get qualified/motivated personnel,” Peria said. “We both thought this may help.”

Silva agreed and said he believes it is beneficial for students to see real-world applications of the lessons his students learn in class.

“They need to see the realization of training so they can set goals to accomplish it,” Silva said. “Today, seeing it makes a positive outlook towards making it a career.”
 

Victor Valley High School students watch a jet engine test being conducted on an F-16’s F100-PW-220 engine during their tour of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 3, 2019. (Air Force photograph by Giancarlo Casem)

 
Gregory Peria, Propulsion Production Superintendent, 412th Maintenance Squadron, explains how the Jet Engine Test Cell tests jet engines to Victor Valley High School students during their tour of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 3, 2019. (Air Force photograph by Giancarlo Casem)