Job Description: Responsible for maintaining launch and release devices on aircraft, Aircraft Armament Systems specialists ensure that explosive devices can be accurately delivered from our planes. From testing and evaluating new weapons systems to loading ordnance, these professionals make sure that when a pilot pulls the trigger, the devices successfully launch away from the aircraft toward the target.

  • Branch Branch: Air Force
  • Ratings Average Rating:
  • Desinnation Designation: 2W1X1
  • Average Required Test Average Salary:
  • Entry Type Entry Type: Enlisted
  • Required Test ASVAB:
  • Degree Degree: High School or GED
  • Age Age: 17-39
  • Citizen Citizen: U.S. or Permanent Resident
  • Category Category: Munitions & Weapons
Average Age
28 Average Age
Average Age
6,449 Number Employed
Average Age
7.0 YearsAverage Employment


Pros: -Not a crew chief -Not a Marine -Handle airborne munitions -Work outside

Cons: -12 hour days constantly -Literal back-breaking work -Aircraft break a LOT -Work outside

Location: Osan AFB Republic of Korea; Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC; Moody AFB, GA


If you want a job where you get handle bombs, ammo, missiles, rockets and all types of gun ammunition step right up. Be warned, however, that you will be outside in the heat of the day in the summer and the middle of the night in the dead of winter. You will be on your feet anywhere from 6 to 10 hours out of your 8-12 hour day. Your back, knees, shoulders and feet will more than likely end up, at best, getting you on a desk work profile for a month, and at worse getting hurt so bad you’ll end up getting medically discharged (seen it happen to at least a dozen people). I personally have had to have extensive physical therapy for my knees, back, shoulders and feet over my 7+ years in this job. You have virtually no free time for family, school, or working out, and are expected to still manage to get your job-related associates degree and pass your Physical Fitness test despite this. As far as the actual work, loading is great and all, until you are the only crew on shift because everyone is at appointments or too injured to work, so your 3-person crew is responsible for loading all 14+ jets that will be taking off in a few hours. There is also the maintenance side, which is about 2/3 of everything we do. Every single piece of weapons system equipment on aircraft require periodic inspections. These can be anywhere from once a week to 1.5 years. These consist of tasks as simple as wiping the gun down with lubricant to removing parts that require up to 12 hours of follow-on maintenance and operational/functional checks. For example, to remove the gun system from the A10, it takes about 6 hours to remove the entire system, another 8 to clean the gun bay on the aircraft, 24 hours+ for the off-equipment maintenance shop to fully disassemble and reassemble the entire gun system for their inspections, then about a full day for quality assurance to inspect and normally reject the gun bay cleaning, which you then have to re-accomplish, another 6 hours to reinstall the system, then 8 more hours to fully inspect the entire bay post-installation, only for quality assurance to inspect it and fail it again, then, and ONLY then, after it passes the inspection, do you begin the follow on operational and functional checks which test the electronics and mechanical functioning of the system. So, all in all you’re looking at about 60 hours of work, and that’s when everything works the first time.It’s basically the same overall process for every. Single. Piece. Of equipment on that aircraft. In addition to that, sometimes something just doesn’t work and nobody knows why, so you have to break into wiring diagrams and schematics and chase fault codes, trying to figure out what exactly is broken, because just because one thing doesn’t work doesn’t mean that’s whats broken. Don’t think if you’re not on the A10 you’ll escape this, every airframe is just as complex and needy, the A10 is just older and more prone to breaking than newer platforms.