The New World of Tech Training:

New Portable Maintenance Aids at one of the Air Force’s premier technical training centers are simplifying F-22 Raptor maintenance to the point that—with a click of a computer key—a single maintainer can consult aircraft tech data and click another key to open or close weapons bay doors and extend launchers for inspection, reports A1C Jacob Corbin. “Maintainers can plug the PMA into the aircraft and review aircraft consumables for proper servicing, diagnose problems, download fault codes, and perform APU [auxiliary power unit] ground operation,” said TSgt. John Jefferson, an F-22 crew chief instructor with the 362nd Training Squadron at Sheppard AFB, Tex. Jefferson is helping set up the new F-22 initial skills maintenance training in the base’s new $21 million Raptor Maintenance Training Facility. The facility has high-tech classrooms featuring mock-up trainers—a total of eight—with fully functional aircraft elements, such as the cockpit, landing gear, and engines. Sheppard plans to begin its first classes for Raptor maintainers in January 2008.