Dover AFB generates multi-capable Airmen for the fight

  • Published
  • By Roland Balik
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from different Air Force Specialty Codes within the 436th Mission Generation Group, attended classes designed to produce multi-capable Airmen by familiarizing them with mission essential tasks.

The five-day course, MCA Familiarization Training, is divided into two main groups or “buckets.” Students in “A” bucket are for those assigned to the 436th Maintenance Squadron, 436th Aerial Port Squadron and 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron. The “B” bucket class is for those students assigned to the 436th or 736th Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons.

MCA training is focused on C-5M Super Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft familiarization, employing subject matter experts within the 436th MGG and 373rd Training Squadron, Detachment 3 instructors.

Depending on which bucket students are assigned to, they receive training on a variety of equipment and missions including forklift operations, aircraft refueling, aircraft marshaling, launch and recovery duties, cargo pallet construction and more. All of the lesson plans are focused on giving Airmen extra tools to help out in a deployed environment.

“We’ve developed a dynamic training plan that crosses multiple logistics and maintenance Air Force Specialty Codes that get after the core tenets mentioned previously,” said Col. Bary Flack, 436th MGG commander. “The training plan is very deliberate and ambitious; it will allow Airmen to become proficient in areas not in their core AFSC.”

MCA initiatives are a facet of Agile Combat Employment.

“It's basically a way to train Airmen in order to be able to cross utilize across multiple functional areas that are located within a wing where they can operate somewhat independently in an expeditionary environment in order to accomplish mission objectives,” said Senior Master Sgt. Nicholas Thompson, 436th MGG project manager. “This program is a way to deliver some of that initial familiarization training to these folks.”

Enlisting the assistance of squadron SMEs and tenant unit instructors, trainees received both in-the-field and classroom training which included the use of virtual reality goggles to walk around aircraft during C-5M and C-17 familiarization.

“As Air Education Training Command instructors, we are qualified and provide training daily [it’s our primary job], so why not offer our qualifications and fill in where we can?” said Master Sgt. William Robbins, 373rd Training Squadron, Detachment 3 section chief. “Flight line personnel have their primary job, which is to keep the aircraft in the air and to provide all necessary support…they don’t have the luxury of providing training at all times, which is why we stepped in to assist in any way we can.”

In addition to aircraft familiarization, learning to safely drive an A/T 40K forklift and load a storage container onto a flatbed truck were among the tasks students executed.

“It was very different than driving our normal Bobtails [aerospace ground equipment towing vehicle] every day,” said Senior Airman Samantha Pellerin, 436th MXS aerospace ground equipment journeyman.

On June 6, the 436th LRS became part of the 436th Maintenance Group to form the 436th Mission Generation Group for a two-year test.

“We are excited and honored to be at the forefront of a larger Air Force initiative on how to organize to better meet persistent mission generation and focused sustainment operations,” said Flack.

The test will allow all logistics and maintenance AFSC Airmen to operate together under one organization and focus their mission sets to generate, sustain and deliver.

“It is our belief we will see many benefits to C-17 and C-5 fleet health, mission generation metrics, logistics operations execution, but more importantly Airmen development and growth,” said Flack. “In doing this initiative we will certainly look to increase Dover’s ability to exceed combatant commander and customer expectations across the globe by delivering the right part or mission, at the right place, at the right time to allow mission success.”