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Flying visit to RAF Mildenhall for students

PUBLISHED: 16:58 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 07:26 20 February 2020

Engineering students and instructors from West Suffolk College with airmen next to a KC-135 Stratotanker at RAF Mildenhal. Picture: AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JOSEPH BARRON

Engineering students and instructors from West Suffolk College with airmen next to a KC-135 Stratotanker at RAF Mildenhal. Picture: AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JOSEPH BARRON

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Engineering students from West Suffolk College had a workshop tour with the US Air Force in a visit to RAF Mildenhall.

Technical Sergeant Eric Krause of the 100th Maintenance Squadron speaks to students from West Suffolk Collegel at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: AIRMAN FIRST CLASS JOSEPH BARRONTechnical Sergeant Eric Krause of the 100th Maintenance Squadron speaks to students from West Suffolk Collegel at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: AIRMAN FIRST CLASS JOSEPH BARRON

The budding engineers visited the 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron to learn about different maintenance practices used there.

Gary Jefferson, West Suffolk College executive director for engineering and technology, who is an honorary commander with the unit, said: "These are engineering students studying a broad-based engineering qualification largely centred on maintenance. To get an understanding of aircraft maintenance for them is a fantastic experience.

"Many of our students are interested in aircraft maintenance as a long-term career, mainly in the civilian sector.

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"We teach them in classrooms and small workshops and they get to see video clips but there's no substitute for actually walking a vehicle, hearing the experts talk about it and understanding exactly what is required to keep it airborne.

"For them to see an operational base where the maintenance is of the highest quality, that's what makes the difference to them."

The students saw a KC-135 static display, toured the fabrication flight and participated in a question and answer session with senior enlisted maintenance and logistics Airmen.

2nd Lt. Yelizaveta Patenko, 100th AMXS assistant aircraft maintenance unit officer in charge, said: "It's very beneficial for the younger folks in the community to see what we do here.

"It gets them excited about what they're doing and allows them to see how what they are learning can be applied on an operational basis."

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