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Airman Finds Pride in A-10 Operations

Airman 1st Class Juliann Hammer is seen next to an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., May 16, 2021. Hammer is a crew chief on the A-10. She is also a student at Michigan State University.

Airman 1st Class Juliann Hammer is seen next to an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., May 16, 2021. Hammer is a crew chief on the A-10. She is also a student at Michigan State University.

Airmen from the 127th Maintenance Squadron engage in a variety of tasks to recover an A-10 Thunderbolt II from a flight and prep it for the next mission at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., May 16, 2021. The A-10 is one of two aircraft operated by the Michigan Air National Guard at Selfridge. KC-135 Stratotankers are also assigned to the base.

Airmen from the 127th Maintenance Squadron engage in a variety of tasks to recover an A-10 Thunderbolt II from a flight and prep it for the next mission at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., May 16, 2021. The A-10 is one of two aircraft operated by the Michigan Air National Guard at Selfridge. KC-135 Stratotankers are also assigned to the base.

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. --

Before she joined the Air Force, Airman 1st Class Juliann Hammer didn’t know what an A-10 was. She admits that had never heard of a torque wrench.

“And then I enlisted and it was like, ‘OK, let’s go be a mechanic on a jet,’” she said. “I didn’t know about any of it and now – well, just put down that I really, really like it out here. A lot.”

Hammer’s “out here” is the flight line at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, where she served as a crew chief on an A-10 Thunderbolt II, an attack aircraft flown by the Michigan Air National Guard.

Hammer says that, of course, she was generally aware of the Air Force, but she didn’t know anything about the Air National Guard until a recruiter paid a visit to her high school. That set a plan in motion that had her enlisting and beginning a new career. She was in Basic Military Training, almost to graduation, when the pandemic restrictions began in early 2020. She attended her technical training, learning how to be a crew chief, during the lockdown.

“So that was tough. We couldn’t have any visitors at our BMT graduation and at tech school, we were restricted pretty much to training and to our rooms. But now, working on the jet, I love it,” she said.

Hammer is a traditional member of the Michigan Air National Guard, generally serving one weekend per month and a couple of weeks of active duty per year. She is also a full-time student at Michigan State University, where she is studying mechanical engineering.

“I enlisted mostly for money to help with college and for the travel,” she said.

Hammer recently traveled with her unit to Nellis Air Force Base, to support Green Flag, a large Joint Service warfighting exercise. Nellis is on the edge of Las Vegas, Nevada. Later this summer, Hammer is scheduled to travel with her unit to the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in northern Michigan to support another exercise there.

“Really, the whole experience has been great. I am glad I get to be a part of it,” she said.

To learn more about career opportunities in the Michigan Air National Guard, call (800) 645-9420 or visit 127wg.ang.af.mil/careers