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Life as a Hydraulic System’s Specialist

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Edward McGaughey, 104th Maintenance Squadron hydraulic systems supervisor, reads a back shop hydraulic test station. The hydraulic test station is useful for measuring the proper operation of hydraulic cylinders. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman 1st Class Camille Lienau)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Edward McGaughey, 104th Maintenance Squadron hydraulic systems supervisor, reads a back shop hydraulic test station. The hydraulic test station is useful for measuring the proper operation of hydraulic cylinders. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Airman 1st Class Camille Lienau)

WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Tech. Sgt. Edward McGaughey, 104th Maintenance Squadron hydraulic systems supervisor, works tirelessly alongside other Airmen to keep up with the maintenance and repair required to maintain the 104th’s fleet. The hydraulic systems on an aircraft are crucial as they affect landing gear, brakes, flight controls, and weapons.

Hydraulics on an aircraft transmit a very high pressure force with minimal hydraulic fluid necessary. The fluid is used to lubricate the parts of the system and acts as a coolant at the same time. This strong force and the hydraulic fluid work together to enable the power assisted brakes.

“As an Aircraft Hydraulic Systems specialist we troubleshoot, remove, overhaul, inspect, and install aircraft hydraulic systems and components," said McGaughey. “At Barnes, we maintain the hydraulic systems for 21 F-15C aircraft.”

McGaughey has been a part of the Barnestormer team for more than a decade and recently achieved the supervisor position. McGaughey explained that his family encouraged him to join the Air Force.

“I wanted to join the Air National Guard because numerous family members had served in different branches and always spoke highly of the Air Force,” said McGaughey. “I pursued a position as an aircraft hydraulic systems specialist because I enjoyed working on my car growing up and being able to work on aircraft sounded exciting.”

McGaughey explained that he thoroughly enjoys his career in hydraulic systems at Barnes, and he encourages those interested in learning more about it to contact base recruiting. Hydraulics are essential to the mission because without them our aircraft would be unreliable and a hazard to the pilots when taking off and landing.

“My advice for a new Airman in this field would be to have an open mind about learning something new and that attention to detail is an important skill to becoming a great aircraft hydraulic systems specialist.”

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