First Impressions

My first full week of work on Nellis AFB’s flight line has come and gone.

My first impression was borderline, ground riveting to my opinion of maintenance. Unlike Ellsworth AFB , (both on the flight line for the 37th and the back shop. The 34th was very pleasant but I had already been on that base for 3 years.) I was treated with respect the moment I arrived at the unit. There was no avoiding conversation with me for a two week period or snide rumors immediately created about me. I was met with curious questions and eager trainers since day one.

It has caught me off-guard. I’m still guarded and suspicious. 37th’s mascot might be tigers but in the majority’s heart, they are venomous cockroaches. I won’t be fooled and caught with my pants down again. I feel welcomed and I feel like I might fit in. It doesn’t feel like a good ol’ boy club like Ellsworth’s back shop and test cell did. (I’m still a little bitter about how some of those men treated me.)

This base is a lot of changes. I now work on the F-16 and with that change, brings 2 different engines. I work the Pratt and Whitney 220 and 229 engines. The general theory of operations is the same but it’s secrets are still unknown.

Unlike Ellsworth, my reporting time for my assigned shift will change. I am currently assigned to day shift. At Ellsworth, this means I report no later than 0700 and my duty day ends at 1500. At Nellis, my report time for day shift will change according to the flying schedule. I was told the reason but I can’t quite remember it. It was something along the lines that it gives more time back to the airman and that I am not waiting around for work during my  shift. We also can’t work over 10 hours without group commander authorization. That is pleasant news. Ellsworth had no issues with their troops working 12’s.

As I learn more about my job and fellow engine troops, I hope that I continue to enjoy this base. Only time will tell.

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