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First Graduating Class from New NCO Training Course: The 363rd Training Squadron at Sheppard AFB, Tex., graduated the first class of senior noncommissioned officers from its new nine-level aircraft armament systems course. Fifteen master sergeants successfully completed the two-week course on Sept. 23. The Air Force established the course to give career maintainers the opportunity to become managers. Traditionally, such maintainers obtained nine-level certification through on-the-job training. The new course is designed to make the process of creating effective nine-level aircraft armament NCOs more efficient. While initial armament systems training is platform-specific, the nine-level course combines airmen from all airframes in the same classroom. Sheppard is scheduled to hold four of these courses a year, perhaps five at some point. Aircraft armament now is the third Air Force career field to require a course to complete nine-level certification. (Sheppard report by Capt. Brittany Martin)