JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. –
The 305th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron partnered with the 305th Aerial Port Squadron to host a two-day Multi-Capable Airman course on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. from Sept. 19 to 20, 2022. The course utilized instructors from the 305th APS to train C-17 Globemaster crew chiefs in aerial port hard skills that they can use within a deployed environment.
“How we prepare to deploy is very different,” said Chief Master Sgt. Juan Cabal, 305th Air Mobility Wing chief of C-17 maintenance operations. “Flexibility is tremendously important right now. In a war of attrition, how small of a package can we take with us to do the turns that we need to do with our airplanes? We reached out to the APS and asked, ‘what is most valuable to you?’ That’s how this course came to be.”
The course is an element of the Air Force Generation model to train, deploy, and recover units throughout a two-year readiness cycle.
“Over this course, we learned how to build cargo, load that cargo using a 10K, and familiarize ourselves with the different equipment,” said Airman 1st Class Tanner Kovach, 305th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “Our instructors from the APS made it very easy to learn. As a crew chief, our job goes hand-in-hand with the air terminal operations center. This course helps us learn their job better and allows us to help them whenever they need. Downrange, we could use these skills to help load cargo and get jets out quicker.”
In anticipation of near-peer threats, the 305th AMXS worked with subject matter experts from the 305th APS to design a course that identifies key skills used within aerial port career fields. Training is then provided to Airmen within maintenance career fields in order to minimize manning and equipment deficiencies.
“It’s always good to have the flexibility downrange when there’s minimum manning,” said Staff Sgt. Rivera Walbert, 305th APS ramp services supervisor. “We’re able to utilize everyone to their full potential in different areas with this training. I don’t think it’s difficult to learn these skills, it just takes time and effort to learn.”
The MCA course is designed to employ Agile Combat Employment concepts to more efficiently develop, train, and employ Airmen to provide combat support and solve problems with the resources at hand.
“We eventually want to get to the point where the MCA teams can turn a plane themselves: from refueling, loading and building pallets, and operating equipment,” Cabal said. “That is also why it is important for the 87th and 305th to support each other right now to develop the course. The syllabus that we've developed for this course will be sent up to Air Education and Training Command to form an ACE/MCA curriculum to more systematically and sustainably train Airmen.”