MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A multicapable Airmen proof-of-concept training event was conducted at the 167th Airlift Wing at Shepherd Field Nov. 5.
Approximately 50 Airmen representing maintenance, operations, logistics and communications functions participated in the training as part of the shift in how the U.S. Air Force prepares Airmen to generate aircraft missions in contingency environments.
MCA training prepares Airmen to deploy as small, agile, multidisciplinary teams to support agile combat employment operations. Through cross-utilization training, Airmen provide a capability rather than a specific function.
“Multicapable Airmen is not just a concept or a buzzword; it is an agility, competency-based training program that will provide you with the knowledge required to operate outside of enduring locations,” said Master Sgt. Kelly Ellington, MCA program manager for the 167th AW. “It is having a mentality of being willing to look to the left and to the right to learn something new.”
The training included powering, fueling and loading an aircraft and setting up remote communications capabilities. Airmen typically responsible for one of these tasks instructed Airmen who typically perform other functions. While some Airmen performed the tasks for the first time, other Airmen observed.
A mission generation table of authorizations provides a blueprint for building MCA, identifying key Air Force specialty codes (AFSC) and primary cross-functional tasks. This proof-of-concept training event is the start of what will be continual training. The MCA training framework will progress from individual to small-team training and education.
“This event isn’t about making subject matter experts. It’s about building confidence and familiarity across AFSCs to get the job done on the road,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Darby, maintenance lead for the wing’s MCA working group. “The goal is to reduce ground time for the aircraft, especially when we have limited personnel in a contested environment. Limiting our exposure on the ground, or being able to move at a moment’s notice, will keep our people and our jets safer.”
The multicapable Airmen concept is one of five drivers for change in force presentation and employment introduced by Gen. CQ Brown Jr. while he served as the Air Force’s chief of staff. The others are Air Force Force Generation (AFFORGEN), Agile Combat Employment, Mission Command, and the A-staff construct for expeditionary wings.