Sheppard Profile: Inside the base's mission

WICHITA FALLS - In the Air Force, there's a select group of airmen who are taught the ins and outs of an aircraft and how to maintain them, a job that is mission critical and it all starts at Sheppard Air Force base.

3 months ago, Airmen Diana Gonzalez didn't know the parts of an aircraft. She told us, "I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I didn't know nothing about my job whatsoever."

Today, she loads munitions and bombs and maintains the systems that release weapons from the aircraft.
 
"It's a constant flow of new information that you learn it's an amazing experience," Airmen Gonzalez said, "They show us visuals and if we don't understand that, we do a small hands-on and we actually get to really process the information and get a good visual to know what we're really dealing with." 

82nd Training Wing Commander, Brigadier General Ronald Jolly Sr. stated, "The mission of Sheppard is to train airmen and we produce professionally disciplined airmen that would go out and generate combat capability for our United States Air Force."

Sheppard's mission would not be possible without the highly trained and qualified individuals who train each and every airman that comes through the program on base.

Instructor Supervisor for Bomber Section, Technical Sergeant Jesse Rushing told us, "We're assuming that these airmen are getting the same knowledge every time that they go out to the field and they can produce aircraft that can fly shorties and be able to handle the mission every day." 

Sheppard is currently home to over 5 thousand airmen. "We are the largest technical training center in the United States Air Force center," Gen. Jolly said. 

He also said, "Every aircraft maintainer in the United States Air Force will come through Sheppard Air Force Base for training." The general finished by telling us that the goal is to train and inspire each and every one of them, like Airmen Gonzalez.

Airmen Gonzalez said she didn't think she would join the Air Force but now, as she puts on her uniform every day, she is proud that she made that decision.

As we continue these Sheppard profiles every Wednesday night, we will highlight different parts of what takes place at Sheppard. Next week, we'll take a look at a revamped hydraulics course that is better preparing airman for their careers.


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