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Bellevue East JROTC visits 55th MXS

Senior Airman Angel Sanchez, 55th Maintenance Squadron Consolidated Support Flight aircraft hydraulics journeyman speaks to students from Bellevue East High School Feb. 27, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The tour highlighted the roles that both military and civilian Airmen hold here and what it takes to keep Offutt AFB’s aircraft mission ready. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)

Senior Airman Angel Sanchez, 55th Maintenance Squadron Consolidated Support Flight aircraft hydraulics journeyman speaks to students from Bellevue East High School Feb. 27, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The tour highlighted the roles that both military and civilian Airmen hold here and what it takes to keep Offutt AFB’s aircraft mission ready. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)

Senior Airman Angel Sanchez, 55th Maintenance Squadron Consolidated Support Flight aircraft hydraulics journeyman speaks to students from Bellevue East High School Feb. 27, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The tour, which was the first of its kind, provided students a chance to see into the world of aircraft maintenance and reflect on real world applications of what they’ve learned in school. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)

Senior Airman Angel Sanchez, 55th Maintenance Squadron Consolidated Support Flight aircraft hydraulics journeyman speaks to students from Bellevue East High School Feb. 27, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The tour, which was the first of its kind, provided students a chance to see into the world of aircraft maintenance and reflect on real world applications of what they’ve learned in school. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)

Students from Bellevue East High School touring the 55th Maintenance Squadron visit a RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft Feb. 27, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The students have recently been studying the science of flight, so many of the tour stops allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of what goes into keeping aircraft ready for flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)

Students from Bellevue East High School touring the 55th Maintenance Squadron visit a RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft Feb. 27, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The students have recently been studying the science of flight, so many of the tour stops allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of what goes into keeping aircraft ready for flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Julian Thomas, 55th Maintenance Squadron commander, speaks with students from Bellevue East High School Feb. 27, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The tour, which was the first of its kind, provided students a chance to see into the world of aircraft maintenance and reflect on real world applications of what they’ve learned in school. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Julian Thomas, 55th Maintenance Squadron commander, speaks with students from Bellevue East High School Feb. 27, 2018 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The tour, which was the first of its kind, provided students a chance to see into the world of aircraft maintenance and reflect on real world applications of what they’ve learned in school. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob Skovo)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The 55th Maintenance Squadron hosted a tour for a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps class from Bellevue East High School to showcase the mission and capabilities of the squadron at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, Feb. 27, 2017.

The tour, which was the first of its kind, provided students a chance to see into the world of aircraft maintenance and reflect on real world applications of what they’ve learned in school.

“We as a maintenance squadron had an opportunity to show these young men and women what we do as maintainers,” said Senior Master Sgt. Chadrick Conley, 55th MXS Accessories Flight Chief, who led the tour. “That was the whole purpose of the tour.”

The students first met Maj. Julian Thomas, 55th MXS commander, and learned the basics of what the squadron does and why and how they do it.

This was followed by visits to the Consolidated Support Flight, the Nondestructive Inspection section, the Isochronal Maintenance section, the Aerospace Ground Equipment and the Accessories Flight. The tour highlighted the roles that both military and civilian Airmen hold here and what it takes to keep Offutt AFB’s aircraft mission ready.

“Hopefully we get kids in who are interested in aviation maintenance and after we do the tour, if they have questions on how to go about doing this, we can explain their options with the Air Force or schools like Iowa Western who can provide the training as well.” Conley said.

The students have recently been studying the science of flight, so many of the tour stops allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of what goes into keeping aircraft ready for flight.

“Their ability to observe first-hand what was presented in the different work sections as and view up close the 135 aircraft was a tremendous benefit,” said Master Sgt. Merlin Wane Eudy, Bellevue East High School JROTC aerospace science instructor. “The tour was a wonderful opportunity for them to see things Air Force people do.”

With pressure for students to pursue a bachelor’s degree program or higher and many of the skilled workers in maintenance related fields approaching retirement, showcasing the career opportunities that can be found at the maintenance squadron may help students decide if working in aviation maintenance or engineering is right for them.

"Anytime you can give opportunities to see and do new things it is beneficial to the students,” said Eudy. “I don't try to influence them to join the military too much, because I know it isn't for everyone. I do encourage them to check out anything that seems interesting to them. I tell them to Google it. Maybe the light will come on and they realize this is what I want to do.”

Schools, teachers or students interested in touring the maintenance squadron should contact 55th Wing Public Affairs at 294-3663 or through email at 55WG.PA@us.af.mil. The tours target audience is high school, college, university or trade school students.