Out with the Old, in with the Newaircraft mechanic overseas contracting

AECOM will be taking the reigns from L3 Communications operating in Kuwait and Afghanistan.  Find the news release here.  L3 has been providing contract field teams to support the US Army aviation maintenance. L3 was the largest employer in this sector. The great thing about L3 was was that you did not need your A&P license.  L3 would often times take mechanics fresh out of the military since in the aircraft being maintained where also military aircraft.

What does this mean for the L3 employees overseas right now? Well they have been given an option to join the AECOM team. The new company will need a large portion of employees to remain on site because without them, the whole operation grinds to a halt.

Pay cuts coming

It has been known that AECOM will be reducing salaries for aircraft mechanics operating under these contracts. Not only that, but it appears that AECOM will not be offering 401k matching or health benefits. This is all coming from my friends on the ground in Afghanistan right now so it is all subject to change. As of now, I understand that the pay will be reduced from $153,000 years (if worked maximum available hours) down to $110,000 or so a year.  Another change would be that if there was no work, you would punch out and go hang out in your tent. This was not the case with L3, as 84 hour work weeks where common regardless of the workload. Punching out to go back to your tent will severly decrease your pay and make your yearly salary calculations only guess work.

Other outfits

If the new changes are in fact true, I would steer clear from working with AECOM. The pay differences alone make it not worth risking your life doing overseas contracting. Especially since there are better outfits that pay much better and get better vacation rotations.  I have never really been a fan of L3 communications either, I mean working 84 hours a week can become mind numbing after awhile. Plus vacations every 6 months make my family forget who I am. There are plenty of other aircraft mechanic jobs overseas that only work 40 hours a week and making more money as well.


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