CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
The Air Force is equipped with aircraft that feature some of the most sophisticated electronic systems in the world. It requires a specialized career field with talented Airmen to maintain and keep the aircraft in top condition.
Here at Cannon, these Airmen work in the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron avionics shop, and are tasked with the unique mission to work on instruments of CV-22 Ospreys across the Department of Defense.
“The short and simple answer is we keep the CV-22 flying by repairing components and line replaceable units that are damaged or faulty,” said Tech. Sgt. Jesse Thorn, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron avionics day shift production supervisor. “We also do many side projects for the squadron/wing and work closely with Air Force Repair Enhancement Program section to improve processes and practices to save the Air Force a ton of money.”
Some of avionics and components Airmen’s job proficiencies include maintaining aircraft electronic equipment such as radar and navigation technology, performing operational tests on support equipment, aircraft components and test equipment, repairing both the aircraft equipment and the associated test equipment, and organize the facilities to ensure parts are stocked and available.
“My favorite aspect of the job is troubleshooting and repairing a component or damaged circuit board as it is a skill that not everyone possesses,” Thorn said. “It gives me a great sense of accomplishment.”
With such a varied amount of tasks one Airmen is expected to carry out, a competent level of teamwork is required to complete the mission, and that’s what runs through the veins of the shop, according to Thorn.
“One of the unique challenges we face is we are the only shop of our kind currently in AFSOC, so the workload can get pretty intense at times,” Thorn said, “We overcome this through working together with an incredible team that is fully dedicated to accomplishing our mission and goals.”
It’s one of the final steps in a process of constant maintenance and readiness with Air Force aircraft. Like the steps before avionics and after, its role in the mission is vital, because nobody knows the sophisticated electronic systems installed in Air Force in the world quite like avionics.