Army Apache Attack Helicopter Repairer – MOS-15R

The Apache helicopter is a key part of Army combat operations

Two soldiers repairing an Apache AH-64 helicopter.
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As an attack helicopter repairer (MOS-15R) the soldier will be working on keeping the Army's elite Apache AH-64 attack helicopters in top working order. These machines have been a vital part of the Army's combat missions since their introduction in 1986. 

This job—military occupational specialty 15R—is a good fit for mechanically-inclined soldiers who want to learn all there is to know about the Apache and how it functions. 

Background of the Apache Helicopter

First introduced in 1975 by manufacturer Hughes Helicopters—which was later acquired by McDonnell Douglas—Boeing has built the Apache helicopter for the Army since 1997. It was first used in combat in 1989 during the U.S. invasion of Panama and saw heavy use during Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s. 

The helicopter has not been without its challenges. Issues with fuel tanks, night vision and overall survivability presented themselves during the 1990s. 

In addition to the U.S. Army, the Apache has been used by other countries around the world in combat operations, including Israel, the U.K., Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Netherlands. 

Duties of AH-64 Attack Helicopter Repairer

You'll definitely get your hands dirty if you enlist in this MOS. These soldiers remove and install various parts of the Apache, including engines, rotors, gearboxes, transmissions, mechanical flight controls, and related components. They prepare the helicopter for inspection and maintenance checks and assist with those inspections. They also use special tools to help troubleshoot the aircraft's subsystems and keep maintenance records.

As with any soldier working on an Army aircraft, MOS 15R also have general crewmember duties as well.

Training for AH-64 Attack Helicopter Repairer

A soldier who enlists as an AH-64 attack helicopter repairer will spend the standard ten weeks of boot camp, formally known as Basic Combat Training—or just Basics—and 17 weeks in Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia.

You'll learn to disassemble and repair Apache engines, which includes repairing aluminum, steel and fiberglass airframes, and coverings. You'll also learn to fix the Apache's hydraulics, fuel, and electric systems. 

Qualifying as AH-64 Attack Helicopter Repairer

You'll need a score of at least 99 on the mechanical maintenance (MM) aptitude area of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. There is no Department of Defense security clearance required, but there are some past behaviors that can disqualify you from this MOS, including:

  • A history of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Experimental use of marijuana after age 18
  • The documented instance of the use, sale, transfer, possession, or manufacture of any narcotic or other controlled substance or dangerous drug

You will also need the ability to use your hands and power tools and should have an inclination in mathematics and shop mechanics. Further, you must have a normal color vision (no colorblindness).

Similar Civilian Occupations to MOS 15R

While there's no direct civilian equivalent to this job, your training should enable you to serve as an aircraft mechanic or service technician for an airline or aerospace company. You also may be able to pursue a career as an aviation inspector.