Josh Smith

I was an F/A-18 Hornet Avionics technician in the U.S. Navy. In that line of work, the seat was not my focus but it was always respected. We all knew the importance of a system such as that, in that it cannot fail and needs to be treated with respect. Fast forward years later, I started my career with Boeing. As a Boeing F/A-18 maintainer we were required to learn all systems and of course that meant mastering the NACES seat on the Super Hornet. I worked for VX-23 at Pax River, MD doing flight test work where I was trained as a seat maintainer, I got to piece out the seat for removal and install in the 5 basic sections of the seat system. I got very good at it and enjoyed seat work. I then was able to transfer to St. Louis to work at the Super Hornet factory with Boeing where I continued to qualify as a seat maintainer. It is a rare opportunity to be an Avionics technician who works on seats as well. Today I work as a Tech Rep On the Super Hornet and continue to teach and train junior sailors on the importance of a flawless ejection seat system.

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