An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

82d TRW Nondestructive Inspection Airmen learn to look beneath the surface

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

Over the course of 51 training days, Nondestructive Inspection instructors from the 82nd Training Wing’s 359th Training Squadron Detachment 1 teach future NDI Airmen how to use technologies like x-ray, ultrasound, eddy currents and oil analysis to detect miniscule defects safely and effectively in aircraft bodies and engines before they turn into larger, more dangerous problems.

According to Tech Sgt. Cannen Hodgson, NDI Instructor, the career field is sought after in the maintenance community because the techniques used are not specific to any aircraft, meaning an NDI Airman can go anywhere there are planes. Additionally, the work itself is fulfilling.

“I like being able to go out there and competently do an inspection and come to a conclusion,” he said. “The result could be ‘it's cracked,’ or ‘it's broken,’ or ‘Yeah, you're good to go, this airframe can still fly.’ It’s a field day whenever NDI finds damage. It's a big deal sometimes, depending on what the technical order says. I like that instant gratification when I do my job and I get the result.”

Equally fulfilling to Hodgson has been his time as an NDI instructor at NAS Pensacola. He said he enjoys both the perks of the coastal location and the camaraderie of a joint-service environment, where instructors from different branches often compare NDI methods. The most rewarding aspect of the position, though, is the opportunity to shape the future of the career field.

“I wanted to be an instructor for several different reasons,” he said. “I liked the training aspect of my job. Even before I was an instructor, I was heavily into training. I really liked that aspect of the job - being able to instill my knowledge and in my experiences into these brand-new Airmen. I want it to be that first line of like, ‘Hey, this is what NDI is like, this is what you can expect.’”

The 82nd Training Wing is the largest and most diversified training wing under the Air Education and Training Command.