Becoming F-35 Avionic Specialists

The Air Force’s first intermediate class of future F-35 avionic specialists at Sheppard AFB, Texas, graduated recently, according to a base release. The intermediate general avionics principles course, or IGAP, “bridges the gap between the students’ initial training in electronic principles and their follow-on training to work on the aircraft itself down at Eglin AFB, Fla.,” states the June 25 release. The airmen will be fully qualified avionic specialists after completing training with the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin, TSgt. Mike Meares, a spokesman for the 82nd Training Wing, told Air Force Magazine. The whole process takes “roughly seven to eight months,” he said. Once fully qualified, they will ensure electronic systems on the Lockheed Martin-built aircraft function correctly, states the release. “They’re going to be working on the newest and the best fighters in the world. Without that general flight line knowledge, it’s going to be taking a lot more time out of the actual F-35 maintainer’s time to get them spun up on the basics of avionics,” said F-35 IGAP instructor SSgt. Westley Latina.