US Army Job Profile: 15T UH-60 Helicopter Repairer

Becoming a Black Hawk Repairer Requires Special Training

This illustration includes a day in the life of a 15T UH-60 helicopter repairer including "Remove and install subsystem assemblies such as engines, rotors, gearboxes, transmissions, and mechanical flight controls," "Prepare aircraft for inspections and maintenance checks, conduct scheduled inspections, and assist in performing special inspections," "Complete operational maintenance checks, troubleshoot aircraft subsystems with special tools and equipment as required," and "Perform operator maintenance, and repair and prove support for aircraft ground support equipment."

 Gary Ferster © The Balance

The UH-60 helicopter repairer is primarily responsible for supervising and performing maintenance on UH-60 helicopters (also known as the Black Hawk). This is military occupational specialty (MOS) 15T in the U.S. Army.

It's an important role, since the Black Hawk is usually a part of any combat situation. The helicopter has played a role in numerous battles, including in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other areas around the world. 

History of the Army Black Hawk Helicopter

The Black Hawk, named for the Native American warrior, has been part of Army operations since 1974, entering formal service in 1978. Sikorsky manufactures multiple versions of the aircraft for other branches of the U.S. Armed Services: the Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy all have a similar helicopter.

The Black Hawk helicopter has stood the test of time because it's quieter and more durable than its predecessors. Its ability to evade radar is another huge plus for the Army, especially in combat situations. It can carry a crew of four and up to a dozen equipped soldiers. 

Duties of 15T MOS

All of the duties revolve around the Black Hawk helicopter, including removing and installing subsystem assemblies such as engines, rotors, gearboxes, transmissions, mechanical flight controls, and their components.

They're also responsible for servicing the aircraft and any subsystems. MOS 15T soldiers prepare aircraft for inspections and maintenance checks, conduct scheduled inspections, and assist in performing special inspections.

Their duties include operational maintenance checks and diagnosing and troubleshooting aircraft subsystems using special tools and equipment as required. They'll perform operator maintenance and repair and provide support for aircraft ground support equipment.

And, of course, there's the paperwork: they prepare forms and records related to aircraft maintenance and other air crewmember duties.

MOS 15T may also act in a supervisory capacity at times, providing technical guidance to subordinate personnel.

Training to be a Black Hawk Repairer

Job training for a UH-60 helicopter repairer requires 10 weeks of basic combat training and 15 weeks of advanced individual training with on-the-job instruction. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and the field.

You'll learn to disassemble and repair engines; repair aluminum, steel, and fiberglass airframes and coverings; and fix hydraulic, fuel, and electrical systems.

Qualifying as MOS 15T

To qualify for this job, you'll need to score a 104 the mechanical maintenance segment of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. The line scores for this area include Auto and Shop, Mechanical Comprehension, and Electronic Information. There are no special security clearances required from the Department of Defense for this job.

However, you'll need normal color vision (no color-blindness), and any history of alcohol or drug abuse is disqualifying. Experimental use of marijuana after age 18 also is disqualifying.

Similar Civilian Occupations to MOS 15T

Although much of the work you'll do in this job is specific to the Army, the skills you learn will help prepare you for a career as an airframe or power plant mechanic.