This qualitative study describes and explains the advantages and challenges the U.S. Air Force faces in the implementation of its Future Total Force (FTF) concept with Manned Aircraft Maintenance Technicians. The FTF concept calls for the integration of Air Force Reserve Components and active duty forces into the same unit. In order to capture the perceptions and lived experiences of the Maintenance Technicians, the conceptual framework of phenomenology is employed in this study. Four active duty and four Air National Guard participants are selected based on researcher developed criteria that ensures fair representation of the aircraft maintenance community. The researcher gathers the study's data by conducting on-site, in-depth, semi-structured interviews with each participant. Upon completion of the data collection process, the interview recordings are transcribed and coded into meaningful clusters. The researcher identifies noteworthy participant statements and the essence of the participants' experiences using a Modified van Kaam method. A computer assisted qualitative data analysis program is used to help the researcher identify reoccurring themes, allowing for the unearthing of emergent themes that are common to all of the participants interviewed. Five themes of the Maintenance Technicians' experiences with the phenomenon of FTF implementation are realized: (a) culture change clash, (b) cross training, (c) FTF-affected training, (d) promotion potential, and (e) quality-of-life. The researcher concludes the study with recommendations for the leadership of the Air Force and suggestions for other related subject areas that warrant investigation.
|Adviser||Susan S. Taylor|
|Subjects||Management; Public administration; Military studies|
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