An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Avionics technicians train to help pilots fight

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Daniel Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs

Keeping the highly sophisticated communications and electronics systems on the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft operational is crucial for pilots’ mission success. The specialized training to repair and maintain these systems lies squarely on the shoulders of avionics professionals.

“A lot of people on the outside, they think what we do is crazy cool,” said Tech. Sgt. Travis Bowman, an avionics maintenance specialist with the 127th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron here. “And, actually, it is.”

On Sept. 10, 2022, Bowman dedicated part of his monthly drill weekend duty, to orient Airman 1st Class Ryann Stillin, on the A-10 avionics systems. Stillin recently competed a year of duty in the avionics shop of the 127th Maintenance Squadron, the unit that works on aircraft components in the shop, away from the flight line. Last month, she transferred to the flight line avionics shop, where she and her colleagues work on components directly on the aircraft.

The Michigan Air National Guard’s 127th Maintenance and 127th Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons comprise the 127th Maintenance Group, sharing the collective mission of ensuring the readiness and lethality of the A-10 fleet here at Selfridge.


"A lot of people on the outside, they think what we do is crazy cool and, actually, it is."Tech. Sgt. Travis Bowman, 127th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

To bring Stillin up to speed, Bowman talked her through calibrating the A-10’s Litening targeting pod while she sat in the A-10’s cockpit. The Litening pod is an advanced precision targeting pod that enables pilots to identify and lock in on targets during combat, and requires calibration before every flight.

“There’s always new things to learn and that keeps me motivated,” Stillin said after climbing out of the cockpit.

Stillin said she appreciates all that she has learned in her nearly two years in the Michigan Air National Guard.

Bowman noted that even experienced Airmen are continuously learning.

“There’s so much to know, you are constantly learning and re-learning the systems,” he said. “The best Airmen are the ones who want to learn and continuously ask questions to upgrade their knowledge.”