Sheppard Profile: Aircrew Equipment course

Local News

The airmen in the Aircrew Equipment course at Sheppard Air Force Base learn the safety and maintenance procedures that may one day save their lives.

A1C Saeed Shnawa is a native of Iraq, who in 2004 helped as a translator for the United States military. After seeing how the military helped other people, he knew this was something he wanted to be a part of.

“I saw the good side of those soldiers. Soldiers carrying arms, but they aren’t using them to hurt people. They literally are protecting the supplies that will save the lives of those kids and those families from thirst and from suffering,” A1C Shnawa said.

After becoming a U.S. Citizen Shnawa joined the Air Force and is currently in technical school in the Aircrew Equipment course. During the course the students learn parachute construction, temperature and humidity affect on parachutes and other fabrics, among other topics. Shnawa hasn’t been in this class for very long, but he says there are parts of the course that can be challenging.

“To master the techniques and to follow our experts. That is still challenging, and of course, it takes time to master all of the techniques and keep shadowing them and looking closely at their hands and their movements and the way they talk and the way they use the terminology,” A1C Shnawa said.

TSgt Joe Cardell is one of the course instructors. He says this training will help the soldiers, not only in their military career but later in life as well.

“It’s attention to detail. So, just looking at this parachute right here, you make one mistake and that can be a person’s life right. So, what we do here is a one-time show, so you want to make sure everything you do is attention to detail,” TSgt Cardell said. 

That attention to detail echoes what made Shnawa want to join the military in the first place and call the United States, home.

The training usually takes 56 training days to complete, covering all of the basics. 

Check out other Sheppard Profiles we’ve done in the past.

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