Air Force Enlisted Jobs - 1A7X1 - Aerial Gunner

An aerial gunner waves from a HH-60 Pave Hawk.
An aerial gunner waves goodbye from the HH-60G Pave Hawk as it flies away with a full load of recovered pararescuemen during a dive recovery exercise March 22 in the Gulf of Mexico. The gunner is assigned to the 41st Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

The door gunner of a helicopter (HH-60) or the AC-130 Gunship has responsibilities and training that include inspection, maintenance, testing, as well as operating some of the fastest shooting weapons in the military. Some careers in the Air Force will have different groupings of AFSCs, these are called Special Duty Assignment – a job outside your specialty (but related in this case). The Aerial Gunner is an example of a Specialty Duty Assignment. Aerial Gunners has many duties assigned to them. They are responsible for making sure all guns and defense related systems are operating properly by inspection, testing, repaired, and maintained before and after flight. The main function of the Aerial Gunner is to make sure all weapons systems are functioning properly and are properly secured for safety and usage reasons.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Special Duty Assignment position is responsible for operating the airborne weapon systems and associated equipment. They perform pre-flight and post-flight inspections of guns, defensive systems, and related aircraft equipment. They also must brief passengers as required and will participate as a crew member during training, combat, and test missions.

Using night vision goggles (NVGs) to perform scanner duties in relation to particular aircraft type and mission are part of the jog as well. Operating aircraft systems, auxiliary, and rescue equipment as dictated by mission requirements and assisting and coordinating with other positions to ensure safe employment of weapons, defensive systems, hoist, and related equipment is a responsibility of the aerial gunner as well.

The aerial gunner also performs functions as dictated by aircraft and mission type during integrated air or ground operations. Maintains munitions account or sub-account and forecasts for ammunition requirements to include flares and small ammunition. Positions and manages ammunition and weapon systems to ensure maximum economy of force. Assists the flight engineer during aircraft emergencies and remote operations.

Performs in flight maintenance of airborne weapons systems and associated equipment. Ensures maximum availability and utilization of weapon systems. Performs all pre-strike, strike, and post-strike requirements with special emphasis on malfunction analysis and repair. Applies quick and decisive action to restore malfunctioning systems to operational condition. Conducts thorough airborne analysis and evaluation of weapons and defensive systems and associated equipment. Documents all malfunctions and discrepancies. 2.3. Adheres to flying, weapon, and explosive safety standards, conducts in flight and ground training in all facets of aircrew duties, airborne guns, defensive systems, and related equipment.

Plans, organizes, and directs aerial gunner activities. Establishes standards governing safety, work methods, and procedures. Provides resources, equipment, directives, and technical information appropriate to the mission and assigned aircraft. Evaluates operational efficiency of aircrews and systems. Analyzes trends affecting aircrew performance and takes necessary action.

Special Duty Qualifications:

Knowledge. Knowledge is mandatory of: theory and application of electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic principles applying to airborne weapons and allied equipment, components, and systems; employment and care of ammunition and ammunition systems: principles of gun employment and ballistic factors; use of personal equipment, oxygen, and communications systems; aircraft emergency equipment and procedures, gun malfunction analysis and repair; use and interpretation of diagrams, schematics, charts, technical publications, explosive safety, and flight manuals.

Education. For entry into this specialty, completion of high school or general educational development equivalency is mandatory. Also, completion of mechanical or electrical courses is desirable.

Training. The following training is mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated: Completion of both Aircrew Fundamentals and Basic Aerial Gunner are required to obtain award of 1A731.

Experience. (Note: See Explanation of Air Force Specialty Codes).

  • 1A751. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1A731. Also, experience performing as an aircrew member, inspecting, operating, and troubleshooting aircraft and airborne armament systems; performing scanning duties and using NVGs.
  • 1A771. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1A751. Also, experience performing and supervising functions such as: aircrew duties associated with inspecting, operating, and troubleshooting airborne armament systems, performing scanner duties, NVG applications, ensuring safe and effective weapon employment, aircrew training and evaluation, and the accomplishment of all necessary reports and forms.
  • 1A791. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1A771. Also, experience in managing aerial gunner activities and functions.

Additional Requirements:

The following are mandatory for entry into this AFSC:
Normal color vision as defined in AFI 48-123, Medical Examination and Standards.

For entry, award, and retention of these AFSCs:

Physical qualification for aircrew duty according to AFI 48-123, Medical Examination and Standards, Class III medical standards.

Qualification for aviation service according to AFI 11-402, Aviation and Parachutist Service, Aeronautical Ratings and Badges.

For award and retention of AFSCs 1A731/51/71/91/00, eligibility for a secret security clearance according to AFI 31-501, Personnel Security Program Management.

Deployment Rate for this AFSC

Strength Req : J

Physical Profile 111121 (Vision uncorrected 20/400-20/400; correctable to 20/20-20/20)

Citizenship Yes

Required Appitude Score M-60 or E-45.

Technical Training:

  • Aircrew Fundamentals Course (AFC), Lackland AFB TX, 13 days
  • Basic Aerial Gunner (BAG), Lackland AFB TX, 13 days
  • Survival School, Fairchild AFB WA, 17 Days AC-130 Only Survival Courses
  • Parachuting Water Survival, NAS Pensacola FL, 3 days
  • Basic Aerial Gunner Course, Kirtland AFB, NM, 23 days
  • SV-80B Emergency Parachute Training, Fairchild AFB WA, 1 day
  • HH-60G Only Survival Courses
  • Water Survival Non-parachuting, Fairchild AFB WA, 2 days
  • Underwater Egress Training, Fairchild AFB WA, 1 day

Initial Qualification Training:

  • AC-130H Mission Gunner, Cannon AFB NM, 61 Days
  • AC-130U Mission Gunner, Hurlburt Field FL, 58 Days
    Cannon AFB, NM AC-130H
  • Hurlburt Field, FL AC-130U
  • Davis-Monthan AFB,AZ HH-60G
  • Kadena AB, Japan HH-60G
  • Moody AFB, GE - HH60
  • Nellis AFB, NV - HH60
  • Nellis AFB, NV HH-60G
  • RAF Lakenheath, UK HH-60G
  • HH-60G Mission Gunner, Kirtland AFB NM, 63 Days

Possible Assignments (3 Level):
Additional Career & Training Information

Note: This career field requires initial training at the Enlisted Aircrew Undergraduate Course.