Air Force Job: 3D1X6 Airfield Systems

Overseeing airfield systems is a key role in aircraft safety

Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
••• A line of C-130 Hercules taxi during a Mobility Air Forces Exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

 Airfield Systems specialists are responsible for the upkeep of systems that keep Air Force airfields operating safely. This includes meteorological, navigational and air traffic control systems. 

They also analyze equipment performance trends, and supervise Airfield Systems maintenance activities. 

In short, these airmen are almost as important to the safe operation of Air Force aircraft as the pilots and flight crew themselves. It's their attention to detail on such things as radios and other communications equipment that helps keep aircraft safe and on mission.

This job is categorized as Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) 3D1X6

Duties of AFSC 3D1X6

These airmen ensure that aircraft can be in constant contact by installing air-to-ground radio systems and making sure all communications equipment works properly. 

This job also supervises all airfield systems maintenance activities, reviewing completed repairs for sound maintenance practices and recommending equipment repair, replacement or depot overhaul. 

These airmen also resolve technical problems and improve maintenance methods and techniques. They solve technical problems requiring interpretation of schematic, logic and wiring diagrams.

A major part of their job includes repairing equipment for deployment. This includes setting up and activating transportable airfield systems equipment and completing navigation systems flight inspections at deployed locations.

Keeping all equipment in top working order and using software-controlled diagnostics to isolate malfunctions are also on the list o duties for this AFSC,.

Qualifying for AFSC 3D1X6

If you're interested in this job, you'll need a composite score of at least 70 in the electrical (E) Air Force Aptitude Qualification Area of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests.

Candidates for this job also need to be eligible for a secret security clearance from the Department of Defense. This process involves a background check of character and finances. In some cases, a history of drug use, alcohol abuse, or criminal record may disqualify you from receiving a clearance. 

You'll need to be a U.S. citizen and have a high school diploma, with coursework in physics, math and basic computer knowledge. As with most Air Force jobs, you need to have normal color vision, which means no colorblindness, and you should have no fear of heights. 

Training for AFSC 3D1X6

After you've completed basic training and Airmen's Week, you'll report to technical school at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. You'll take the airfield systems specialist course, which lasts about 139 days.

Following technical school, airmen report to permanent duty assignments, which for this job could be any Air Force base around the world. You'll be entered into technician upgrade training, with the goal of receiving certification a 5-skill level.

If you progress to the rank of staff sergeant, you'll be entered into 7-level, or craftsman, training. A craftsman can expect to fill various supervisory and management positions, such as shift leader or  flight superintendent, and various staff positions.

And finally, if you're promoted to senior master sergeant, you'll be converted to cyber operations superintendent (AFSC 3D190), which supervises lower-ranked airmen in this field.