MIDDLETOWN, Pa. - Members of the 193rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron conducted a multipurpose training event June 23 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, to increase mission readiness.
The exercise was unlike what many of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard participants had encountered before. The organizers believe events like this help create multicapable Airmen able to perform outside their trained profession, so they are more prepared for future conflict.
“One team could have completed all four of the repairs in the scenario, but we are training to do more with less and in a more austere environment,” said Senior Master Sgt. Micah Good, 193rd SOMXS fabrication supervisor. “Airmen landing in an environment with small teams and not having every AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) on-site could require atypical teamwork to complete the mission.”
The exercise gave junior enlisted Airmen more authority to make more complex decisions than is typically demanded.
“Our maintainers are thinking outside the box and pushing out of their comfort zones,” said Lt. Col. Marvin Laing, 193rd SOMXS commander. “Learning different specialties will offer a holistic approach of how to get the aircraft back into the air if forced into a similar situation downrange.”
In turn, these Airmen provided feedback on the proof of concept, influencing the design of future scenarios.
“This training allowed me to see how other specialties operate, gain a little experience in them, and highlighted the importance their jobs have in getting the aircraft back in the air,” said Staff Sgt. Alan McCutcheon, Munitions Material Section chief. “Conducting these exercises will lead us towards a more flexible and capable force to improve readiness and prepare for future fights.”
The exercise received support from six shops representing two additional squadrons. These units exposed maintainers to the missions and capabilities of outside agencies.