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Fairchild Airman selected for Thunderbirds team

Senior Airman Kyle Boddie, 92nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, sews a pocket to a restraining harness July 7, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The restraining harness is used to attach an aircrew member to the jet in case of an emergency. As an aircrew flight equipment journeyman, Boddie fixes restraining harnesses, packs and inspects escape slides, 20-man life rafts, infant cots, adult and child life jackets, HGU 55/P pilot helmets and MBU 20/P 12/P oxygen breathing masks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samantha Krolikowski)

Senior Airman Kyle Boddie, 92nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, sews a pocket to a restraining harness July 7, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The restraining harness is used to attach an aircrew member to the jet in case of an emergency. As an aircrew flight equipment journeyman, Boddie fixes restraining harnesses, packs and inspects escape slides, 20-man life rafts, infant cots, adult and child life jackets, HGU 55/P pilot helmets and MBU 20/P 12/P oxygen breathing masks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samantha Krolikowski)

Senior Airman Kyle Boddie, 92nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, sews a pocket to a restrain harness July 7, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. He was recently selected for the Thunderbirds team. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samantha Krolikowski)

Senior Airman Kyle Boddie, 92nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman, sews a pocket to a restrain harness July 7, 2016, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. He was recently selected for the Thunderbirds team. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samantha Krolikowski)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- In the beginning of Senior Airman Kyle Boddie’s Air Force career, he had hopes of being a pararescue specialist. Unfortunately, Boddie injured his calf and was not selected. He then found out he was going into aircrew flight equipment and now serves as a 92nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment journeyman.

“I wasn’t sure what aircraft I’d be working directly on until after tech school,” Boddie said. “Tech school only gives you an idea of what you may work on, but you don’t get qualified until you get to your first base.”

As an aircrew flight equipment journeyman, Boddie fixes restraining harnesses, packs and inspects escape slides, 20-man life rafts, infant cots, adult and child life jackets, HGU 55/P pilot helmets and MBU 20/P 12/P oxygen breathing masks.

Throughout his three-plus years at Fairchild, Boddie knew he wanted to have the experience of working on another aircraft. He then put in an application to join the Thunderbirds team and got accepted.

“I was in shock,” Boddie said. “When they told me, I didn’t want to believe it because I thought they were playing a joke on me. It’s become more surreal since I saw my report on individual personnel.”

According to Boddie, the nomination package consists of an application, official photo and a resume. Once accepted, you have to have three years of retainability, sign a team membership contract and have a letter of recommendation.

“Applying was a big step toward getting to another base and learning about a new airframe,” Boddie said.

Each airframe has different capabilities and uses. Working on the F-16 Fighting Falcon will consist of working on the helmet, gravitational pull suit, the ejection seat, parachute and the survival kit in the seat.

Not only will Boddie get to experience working on another aircraft, he hopes this will bring him the opportunity to experience another career field.

“This is a big stepping stone for me in the Air Force,” he said. “It lets me see more of my job and what I can do in this career field. I’m hoping to crosstrain after the Thunderbirds. There are a lot of other interesting jobs in the Air Force and I would like the chance to go into the medical field.”

One thing Boddie enjoys about his current career is the satisfaction of helping people. The Thunderbirds job will be a three year controlled tour and it’s a great way to tell people about my experiences and how I ended up where I am, he said.

“I think it will be great to have the experience to tell people it’s not about being an average Airman, but taking the negatives and making them positives,” Boddie said.