Originally posted by tr00th:
Thanks Matt for your reply.
I have my A&P, and will be joining with it already so that's one hurdle I don't need to jump. I do have a question for you, since your active duty and overseas now.
What is like right now over there? How do you guys do your maintenance? In a hanger, tents, out in the desert? How much work do you guy do, is it like 24 hours of work, days off?
Tell me what you do in 24hours working on -47 so I can have a idea of what I'm getting into.
I got back from Kandahar Airfield (KAF) about a month ago. However, as to your questions:
How is it? KAF is relatively secure. Yes, it gets rocketed at least once or twice a week, but nothing important of ours ever got hit.
Maintenance: We had a clamshell type tent hangar that could fit 2 Chinooks in it with blades on. However, half of it was owned by the Aussies. So the only time our birds were in it were for phase maintenance. 90% of maintenance was done out on the parking ramp in the heat, cold, rain, etc. At night we used portable light sets.
Hours: We had two shifts, day and night. Our hours were 7am-7pm (or the opposite), then changed to noon to midnight (or the opposite). We worked 6 days per week, with one day off per week. Even though the shifts were 12 hours, you will actually be "on the clock" more like 13-14 hours per day. It also took 15-20 minutes each way to get to/from work, or if you took the bus, 45 minutes each way. I averaged 5-6 hours of sleep per 24 hour period.
As for a "regular" day... Well there really wasn't any such animal. If you were on a phase team, you worked the phase from teardown until the MTF was complete and signed off by the MTPs. If you were not on phase, you did unscheduled work as it came up. There was almost always something to fix or work on, as flight ops were always ongoing, and birds did come back damaged or shot-up. You could do virtually nothing for days or even weeks on end, and then have 3 aircraft that need to be fixed and flight-ready in a ridiculously short amount of time.
In garrison, phases are very infrequent, as the birds are flown less than during deployment. So a phase only comes down once a month or longer. There might be one or two minor fixes to do here and there, so lots of hangar sweeping/mopping happens too.
If you have any other questions, just sing out.