Air Defender 23 Job Portrait

C-17 Aircraft Mechanic Senior Master Sergeant Foshee

C-17 Aircraft Mechanic Senior Master Sergeant Foshee

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People from many different countries participate in the Air Defender 2023 exercise with a wide variety of activities. We would like to introduce some of them on this occasion:

An American soldier standing at an aircraft tyre change.

Senior Master Sergeant Foshee of the USUnited States Air National Guard is responsible for the maintenance of the C-17 transport aircraft.

Bundeswehr/Oliver Rohlfing

Personal details:

•    Rank, name, first name: Senior Master Sergeant Foshee
•    Age: 41
•    Job title/assignment: Aircraft mechanic for C-17 transport aircraft
•    Nation: USA
•    Formation/unit: Full-time with USUnited States Air National Guard

How would you characterise your work and why is it important for the air forces?

As an aircraft mechanic, I am responsible for the maintenance of the C-17 transport aircraft. My unit ensures that possible damage to the aircraft is repaired so that it can continue to conduct its missions. As unit commander, I supervise the process and order parts required for repair.

What does your workplace look like (office, cockpit, workshop...)?

My workplace is anywhere on and around the C-17 aircraft – be it in the maintenance hangars for regular inspections or immediately at the aircraft bed-down parking spots. 

What is your task during Air Defender 23?

During the exercise, my 30-person team and I are responsible for repairing possible damage to the C‑17 aircraft. Just now, for example, we have changed the wheel of a C-17 immediately at the bed-down spot because a crack had been detected in the wheel after landing. The aircraft had just landed here today from New Orleans and is scheduled to continue to Northern Ireland later. We ensure that the C-17 aircraft are ready for takeoff at all times in order to make sure that the course of the exercise is not interrupted. However, the large transport aircraft are only used to transport the materiel from America to Germany prior to the exercise and will not participate in the actual exercise; therefore, we will deploy to Prestwick in Scotland during the exercise. After the exercise, we will return to Wunstorf again so that the C-17 can pick up the entire materiel here and fly everything back to the States.

How does your work for Air Defender differ from usual routine duty?

The difference is that we do not need to carry out routine checks at the C-17 since all of this has already been done in advance. Here, we are only responsible for unscheduled maintenance and repair. In other respects, the work here is actually exactly the same, even though it is now taking place in Germany and we are accommodated in a hotel.

What is your impression of the atmosphere and the region during the exercise?

Here in Germany, everything is much older, particularly the towns we have visited. Some days ago, we visited Marienburg castle. It was very beautiful. Apart from that, it is interesting that all the shops are closed on Sundays and that it is sometimes difficult to find a place where you can have a meal.

What are your hobbies besides your military career?

I like to ride my motorcycle in my spare time. In the past, I used to ride sports bikes but now I rather ride motorcycles like Harley Davidson.

  • A transport aircraft is landing on a runway.

    On 5 June, a C-17 transport aircraft lands at the air base of 62 Air Transport Wing in Wunstorf during the Air Defender 23 exercise.

    Bundeswehr/Patrik Bransmöller
  • Technicians changing an aircraft tyre.

    Senior Master Sergeant Foshee supervises the work of his unit.

    Bundeswehr/Oliver Rohlfing
  • Technicians changing an aircraft tyre.

    Team work is required when changing tyres

    Bundeswehr/Oliver Rohlfing
  • An American C-17 landing.

    On June 5, a C-17 transport aircraft lands at the air base of 62 Air Transport Wing in Wunstorf. The aircraft came from New Orleans.

    Bundeswehr/Patrik Bransmöller
by Cedric  Kortenbruck

Air Defender 23

Multinational air operation exercise in Europe