by Airman 1st Class Kyle Johnson
JBER Public Affairs
9/10/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Senior
Airman Jordan Behounek, a 3rd Maintenance Squadron aircrew ground
equipment technician, started up the A/M32A-60B Generator Set, but
instead of hearing the building whine of a turbine engine winding up to
full power, a tongue of flame shot into the wintry air. People in the
vicinity took off running for their safety.
"Well, we've obviously got a problem here," Behounek said after shutting
the screaming engine off. "We should take it back to the shop."
Working with aircraft and their supporting equipment is dangerous
business, that risk is compounded by the fact that each Air Force Base
has their own type of aircraft and their own equipment, each with their
own set of risks.
To ensure Airmen have every opportunity to safely support aircraft
operations and mission success, Airmen will sometimes go through
additional training to specialize their skill set toward the particular
airframe they will be supporting.
That's when they go to the 372nd Training Squadron, Detachment 14.
This training, though not Air Force Specialty Code-awarding, is a
valuable stepping-stone Airmen need to accomplish, and is accredited
toward a Community College of the Air Force degree, said Senior Master
Sgt. Clinton Stapleton, Detachment 14 superintendent.
"We provide advanced skills for the F-22 [Raptor]," Stapleton said. "But
we have a few other courses like advanced wire maintenance and basic
"It really affects the 3rd wing as a whole because not only do the F-22
maintainers come, but the 703d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 517th
Airlift Squadron; [National] Guard, and Reserve Airmen can also take
advantage of our classes."
Some of the more general training is on equipment which is commonly used
on other bases, like the A/M32A-60B Generator Set Behounek shut down.
The generator is a trailer-mounted power unit capable of providing AC
and DC power for aircraft electrical systems as well as high volume air
for starting aircraft engines, and is commonly referred to as the
Dash-60 start cart.
However, because the classes are designed to refine the more general
training of the technical school all Airmen go through, much of what is
covered during training at Detachment 14 is specific to the types of
aircraft stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
"Tech. school is mostly for people who are new to the Air Force, this is
people who are new to this aircraft." said Tech. Sgt. John-Paul White,
an F-22 weapons instructor at the detachment. "I call it tech school
The schoolhouse produces an average of 700 graduates a year with a staff
of 14 instructors and two non-instructors. This translates to about
10,000 instructional hours per year, Stapleton said.
"Our core mission for the 372nd Training Squadron is to make great maintainers and communicators even better," Stapleton said.
While the detachment has a singular mission, it manifests itself in many
different ways. Airmen from a variety of different AFSCs come to the
detachment to refine their skills - avionics, aerospace ground
equipment, weapons, crew chiefs, and egress just to name a few.
"I'm aerospace ground equipment, so I teach aircraft support equipment,"
said Tech. Sgt. Curtis Williams, an aerospace ground equipment
instructor at the detachment. "I teach C-17 [Globemaster III] support
equipment as well as F-22 equipment. In my career field, I teach 12
courses - mostly generators, compressors, air conditioners, heaters,
Being stationed in Alaska, Airmen may be called on to repair or
troubleshoot large space heaters frequently used around the flightline
for Airmen during the winter. The unique difficulty they run into is
when the heater is broken, minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit makes for a great
motivator toward efficient work, Williams said.
While Detachment 14 specializes in providing advanced Raptor maintenance
training to Airmen as they transition into working on JBER's F-22s, the
school has a much bigger impact.
"We have students come in from active duty, Guard and Reserve, so we
definitely are a total force integration partner," Stapleton said. "We
are part of a global network of schools so we have capability to post
our classes worldwide; if there's someone at another base who needs our
class, they can schedule it and come TDY to our schoolhouse here.
"It's not just a local customer base, we're worldwide."