An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | May 30, 2023

188th Wing Hosts Emergency Management Course

By Master Sgt. Chauncey Reed, 188th Wing

EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ark. - The 188th Wing hosted the Air National Guard’s Specialized Personnel and Equipment for Austere Reconnaissance and Surveillance (SPEARS) course at the Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center outside Fort Smith May 23.

“The 188th emergency managers developed this course to transform the carrier field from primarily working in an office environment to conducting operations in a degraded combat environment,” said Chief Master Sgt. Josh Rich, 188th Wing emergency manager chief and SPEARS course manager. 


SPEARS is a one-week course developed in response to the ever-changing nature of modern warfare. It equips Airmen with the skills and knowledge to navigate the evolving landscape of future operations while operating effectively in small, mobile teams. 

“We are evolving, not stuck in what we were doing in Southwest Asia or previous conflicts. We are adapting to the ever-changing environment,” said Chief Master Sgt. David Frates, 103rd Airlift Wing, Connecticut Air National Guard, and the National Guard Bureau’s A4X FEMA Region 1 emergency manager chief.

These small teams form part of a demand force package, available when a combatant commander identifies a need for this type of emergency management CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear).

The team can load onto an aircraft and reach the target quickly. Once on-site, the team informs the combatant commander of all hazards.

“This is the kind of training I’ve wished I had throughout my entire career,” said Senior Airman Tyler McPherson, a SPEARS student from the 103rd Airlift Wing. “The most crucial aspect of this training is pushing people outside of their comfort zones.”

McPherson said it’s easy to focus too much on familiar regulations and hazards. Emergency management leaders evaluate threats, look ahead to future fights and ensure Airmen are prepared.

Graduates have lauded the course for its practical application and relevance to real-world scenarios, enabling them to become more resilient, adaptable and proactive emergency managers.

During the course, students encounter scenarios requiring navigation to a specific location to identify potential hazards. They also participate in a 72-hour field training exercise. 

“Embrace the challenges; the course isn’t easy. Students will face struggles, but we must encourage them to persevere, embrace the difficulties and push through,” said Tech. Sgt. Daniel Johnston, a SPEARS instructor from the 163rd Attack Wing at March Air Base, California. “Our goal is to develop highly trained Airmen who can accomplish missions regardless of their placement.”
 

 

 

Related Articles
An F-35B Lightning II is refueled on the flightline of the Fresno Air National Guard Base, California, while parked next to an F-15C Eagle, June 8, 2024. F-35s from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 and F-15s from the 144th Fighter Wing conducted fourth- and fifth-generation fighter integration training June 7-9 to refine and sharpen their skills while completing required flight training hours.
Cal Air Guard F-15 Pilots Train with Marine Corps F-35 Pilots
By Maj. Jason Sanchez, | June 17, 2024
FRESNO, Calif. - California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing and its 194th Fighter Squadron teamed up with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 out of Yuma, Arizona, June 7-9 to conduct fighter integration training.The...

An HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter prepares to engage with the Royal Caribbean cruise line ship Ovation of the Seas for a mission to transport a heart attack victim 400 miles off the coast of San Francisco May 7, 2024. This mission marked the 129th RQW's 1,161 life saved.
California Air Guard Rescues Man at Sea on Cruise Ship
By Senior Airman Serena Smith, | May 13, 2024
MOFFETT AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Calif. - The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center activated the California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing to airlift a man on a cruise ship to a hospital May 7. The 64-year-old man...

A California Air National Guard C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, assigned to the 146th Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) performs a water drop during MAFFS training at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Port Hueneme, California, April 24, 2024. Air National Guard aircrew from the California Air National Guard's, 146th Airlift Wing and the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 302nd Airlift Wing, train together to accomplish their aerial firefighting certification alongside the U.S. Forest Service and other wildfire prevention agencies. The recertification training includes classroom sessions, flying and ground operations for Air Force aircrews, civilian lead plane pilots, and support personnel from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other federal and state agencies.
California Guard, U.S. Forest Service Train on Aerial Firefighting
By Master Sgt. Nicholas Carzis, | April 29, 2024
PORT HUENEME, Calif.– The U.S. Forest Service held its annual certification and training event for the aerial firefighting program known as MAFFS (Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System) with the aircrews from Air Force...