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Iraqi Air Force celebrates graduation of 7-level maintenance technicians

  • Published
  • By Elizabeth Quinter
  • F-16 Foreign Military Sales Development
The Iraqi Air Force celebrated the graduation of their first F-16 seven-level maintenance technicians at a Jan. 21 ceremony held on Balad Air Base, Iraq.

Lt. Gen. Anwar Hamadamin presented the ten individuals with graduation certificates and 7-level patches.

The ten pioneers had to overcome many difficulties prior to receiving the patches and certificates including learning English, reading technical orders, and learning how to support the F-16 while working part time for the Iraq Air Force, which is on a schedule of one week on and one week off. The schedule made it difficult for the technicians to retain the knowledge learned at work.

Maintenance training started in 2014 with the technicians first learning English in order to read and understand technical orders.

The first of 36 F-16 aircraft arrived in Iraq in July 2015 and in 2016 maintenance training began.

At the air base a technician reaches the 3 skill level upon completion of tech school and is known as an apprentice. The journeyman, or 5 skill level, is received once a technician is capable of performing a set of tasks identified as appropriate for the journeyman level. The 7-level, craftsman, is reached when a technician has mastered all the tasks assigned to his career field. After completing all the maintenance tasks assigned to a 7-Level maintenance technician, the technicians are required to be seasoned for a year prior to attaining the 7-Level status. The technician progression is very similar to the U.S. Air Force but at a faster pace.

The Fighters and Bombers Directorate’s Foreign Military Sales Iraq F-16 Program Office headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base continues supporting the Iraq Air Force mission thru Contractor’s Logistic Support contract and various ongoing training efforts.