Videos: Today's Military
    Air Force Reserve

    The Importance of Aircraft Maintenance(01:58)

    Aircraft maintainers at Charleston Air Force Base in Charleston, S.C., have the critical role of servicing one of the world’s largest cargo and troop transport planes, the C17 Globemaster III. Each aircraft at the base requires multiple inspections a year. Aircraft maintainers in the Air Force Reserve can use their experience to advance their civilian careers in mechanical repair.

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Voice Over: Understanding the responsibility one undertakes each time they work on an aircraft is the first and most important step in becoming a mechanic or aircraft maintainer in the Air Force Reserve. This duty is about much more than keeping an aircraft flying, it is also about protecting the lives of all the Reserve airmen in the skies.

Recently, at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina, we had the opportunity to meet with several Reserve aircraft maintainers and speak with them as they serviced one of the largest cargo and troop transport planes, the C17 Globemaster III. Here's a closer look at the life and mission of these reservists, and the dedication it takes to serve as an aircraft maintainer.

Staff Sgt. Robert Hoffmann: This particular aircraft that's coming in right now, we're probably going to do a couple inspections on it, maybe some tire changes. Pretty much every aircraft on this base has to come within our hangar at some point in time, maybe three times out of a year. And we just perform different inspections, and you know, if anything's broken, we fix it.

Airman 1st Class Elmon Hallback: There's a lot of fun things, definitely just the people. I mean you grow into it, it's like a family. It gives you a background and just a place to, you know, feel free, and at home.

Staff Sgt. Robert Hoffmann: It's just really nice to see people get together and become a team, you know, together we're pretty much unstoppable, and can get anything done. I actually joined because I needed help -- money for school. And I'm continuing to pursue my degree outside, but also, my degree is in engineering, so I decided to be an aircraft mechanic, to have something to put on my resume.

Airman 1st Class Elmon Hallback: This is a perfect thing for you to do, if you're looking to do something with yourself (inaudible). I mean, I've learned a lot of discipline since I've been here.

Staff Sgt. Robert Hoffmann: I've been working here for about eight years, and I'll probably continue my career until I retire. A lot of the things that I've learned here in the Air Force actually help me outside in my classes. Not only will it help me there, but you know when I put it on my resume, I mean hey, can't beat that: "Eight years experience, aircraft maintenance."