A Buccaneer for 8 Years and Counting

A Buccaneer for 8 Years and Counting

I am ME2 Joan Teo, an Air Force Engineer (AFE) in the Engine Trade for the F-15SGs. Currently, I am based in Peace Carvin V (PC V), Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, USA. 

PC V means a lot to me, I spent almost eight years here in total. The first time I came here in 2009, the PC V detachment was newly set up under the 428 Fighter Squadron of the United States Air Force. I was part of a team chosen to train and set up the propulsion trade to receive the new F-15SG jets. Back then, I was new and only had about seven months of experience working on an engine. It was hard, but having seniors that were patient and willing to share their knowledge helped me learnt a lot.

ME2 Joan with her team of AFEs in PC V!

Since then, I have returned to Singapore and back to PC V three times. Over the years, I have become more proficient in what I do, and these experiences made me grow as an AFE, a leader, and a person. I am now a Shift IC for my trade and have also cross trained as a Flight Line Crew. It is now my turn to impart skills to my juniors and help them achieve the best of their potential.

The weather in Mountain Home is a complete opposite of that in Singapore. It is cold for about three quarters of the year, and has near zero humidity. It is overall a very quiet and surreal place to work in. As an AFE, winter here is tougher as we have to continue working in snowy and windy conditions. We endured these harsh conditions together, and it helped strengthen the bonds we have in the Squadron. It was comforting to see how different trades and the aircrew can come together to achieve our missions.

The PC V team during Exercise Red Flag - Nellis earlier this year.

Being in PC V has given me the opportunity to participate in larger scale exercises in the USA, such as Exercise Red Flag - Nellis and Exercise Red Flag Alaska. These exercises involved Air Forces from other countries and it was an amazing experience to be able to work with them. During Exercise Red Flag - Nellis, we won the Best Maintenance Unit on three different occasions, and we were really honoured and inspired to keep up the standards of our operations. As the Team Lead, I also learnt how to better manage my team to be more efficient in our work.

Besides my primary job as an AFE, I am also the Heritage IC for PC V. During large-scale events such as the Quarterly Wing Competition, Air Force Appreciation Day Parade, and working visits, my team and I will be there to capture those moments. Being in PC V for eight years have helped me excel in my role, as I picked up this new skill and I enjoy doing it!

The annual Air Force Appreciation Day Parade, where the PC V crew paraded their “Buccaneers Pride” down the streets of Mountain Home town.

Having been away from Singapore for long periods of time, I do miss my family, friends and even the local food! Nevertheless, I talk to my parents over the phone regularly, and they even visited me in Mountain Home on several occasions over the years. Having a great support system back home allows me to focus on my core job without having any worries in mind. 

In PC V, we are like a family too. Outside of work, I hang out with families and friends who enjoy outdoor activities as much as I do. The bonds that we share in our free time truly reflects the camaraderie we have at work. During summer, we will do sports like mountain biking, hiking and other outdoor activities. In winter, it is mostly snowboarding. I really enjoy the vast nature and space that Mountain Home and the surroundings offer.

Enjoying outdoor sports during Summer!

I am proud to say that I enjoy the company of the people I work with, and that makes work more enjoyable and time spent away from home much easier. And that is the spirit of PC V!