JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. –
The U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center's Phoenix Raven Qualification Course is dedicated to training its students to protect military aircraft in austere environments. Similarly, the 421st Combat Training Squadron has been dedicated to ensuring each Raven participant receives hands-on experience during the course.
The 421st CTS partnered with the 305th Operations Support Squadron, Army Support Activity, Dix, and several other agencies to deconstruct two C-130 Hercules and provide Phoenix Ravens with real-life experience while in training.
“The two decommissioned C-130 aircraft represent a significant training addition to the Phoenix Raven Qualification Course,” said Shane Spice, PRQC course director. “The Raven mission provides close-in security for DOD assets in austere locations. Bringing true military fuselages to PRQC provides the realism expected of world class training and education.”
The PRQC was founded in 1997 and is unique to the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Phoenix Raven candidates must prove their physical and mental fitness through three intense weeks of selection training at ASA, Dix, where they previously utilized an LMTV or Humvee to perform training tasks.
“Using fixed aircraft guarantees availability, reduces schedule changes and liberates precious resources for other priorities,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gabriel Rosario, NCO in charge of PRQC. “This innovative project broadens the 421st CTS scenario portfolio, while the accessibility of the aircraft lets us train day, night, and in all weather conditions.”
Throughout the three-week process of deconstructing the C-130s, the 421st CTS worked with the 305th OSS to utilize the flightline. Additionally, once the process was complete, the aircraft were placed at an ASA, Dix, training range for PRQC use.
“JB MDL mission partners have helped us tremendously by allowing us to use a ramp space and providing to support us,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brian McNerney, 421st CTS C-130 deconstruction projector manager. “I have a huge appreciation for all of these different partners that we have worked with to make this happen.”