Sheppard Profile: Aerospace Propulsion

Local News

Each year, thousands of students graduate from Sheppard Air Force Base from hundreds of different career fields.

Many walk in with little to no knowledge of the career they choose to pursue but many knows exactly what they want to do before they ever enlist in the Air Force.

Aerospace Propulsion Instructor, Tech. Sgt. Patrick Gordon told us, “This is where airmen come to learn how to work on jet engines. Without jet engines, you don’t have an aircraft.” 

Without aerospace propulsion, an aircraft wouldn’t function many students here come to learn how to do just that. 

Student, Airman Rafael Espinoza said, “If we’re working on the fan compressor, we usually work towards the front of the engine, if we’re working on the turbine frame assembly or low-pressure turbine assembly, we’ll be working towards the end of the engine.” 

Before entering this career field, many have no knowledge of the different parts of an aircraft.

Gordon continued to tell us, “A lot of times we get guys who’ve never used basic tools so it’s very difficult in the beginning because some of these guys come here like I said, they don’t know the difference between a flat head screwdriver or a Phillips’ head.” 

But that wasn’t the case for Airman Espinoza but even with basic knowledge on different hand tools, this field still came with its challenges.

Airman Espinoza told us, “Coming into this career field was a new environment but it’s a very intense course so with all the information thrown at you at one time, you kind of pick it all up and keep moving forward.” 

Moving forward is exactly what he did. With only a few more weeks left before graduation, he’s already looking forward to the future.

“Aircraft have always driven my curiosity, I’ve always had an interest in aircraft, at some point in my career I hope to commission as an officer and be able to pilot,” Airman Espinoza continued to say. “When we finally got up to the flight line, seeing all the planes lined up there was just a sense of excitement.” 

An excitement that many, like Airman Espinoza, feel when they walk through the gates of Sheppard.

In next week’s Sheppard Profile, we highlight those who make sure flights flying in and out of the base do so smoothly.

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