Know Your Military

Face of Defense: Making Falcons Fly

Nov. 9, 2018

Air Force Master Sgt. Patrick McKenna loves being able to work with his hands. He’s been doing just that for the Air Force for the past 13 years while serving as a crew chief for F-16 Fighting Falcon jets. This is his story.

An airman stands in a hangar.
Master Sgt. Patrick McKenna
Air Force Master Sgt. Patrick McKenna poses for a photo at a hanger at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
Photo By: Clarence Buchwald
VIRIN: 181106-O-DD908-448

What do you remember about your first day working with the aircraft?

“I had never seen a fighter aircraft in person before and I remember the first day that our class walked into the hanger and you have an F-15 and an F-16 staring at you. It was pretty surreal to know that’s what I would be working on every day.”

What does it mean to you, personally, in doing this job?

“Whenever the days are getting long and it's crunch time to get a jet fixed, I always think about [troops] on the ground who are counting on these aircraft to come and save their lives.”

Job: Crew Chief
Hometown: Philadelphia
Stationed: Nellis Air Force Base
Unit: 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron