DVIDS – News – 8 Graduates of First Basic Special Mission Airman Course Delivered by Mobile Training Team

The 908th Airlift Wing had eight enlisted members graduate from the Basic Special Missions Airman Course on 27 April.

The three-level course for Air Force specialty code 1A9X1, Special Mission Aviator, was taught by a mobile training team of two instructors, Tech Sgt. Adam Bradford, Basic Special Mission Airman Course Lead Instructor and Master Sgt. Raymond Bourne, Basic Special Mission Airman Course Instructor, both with the 344th Career Enlisted Airman Center of Excellence Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas for the past four weeks .

This was the first time the BSMA course was delivered by a mobile training team.

In some ways, the instructors were more comfortable teaching at their home station, but their experience and expertise contributed to the success of the training at Maxwell Air Force Base.

“We planned ahead for potential lapses,” Bourne explained. “Some items we work with or teach have had to be left out because they’re just too big and heavy to travel with, but we’ve been able to be effective instructors by identifying those issues and coming up with other items. to use instead of those training tools or examples that we couldn’t provide.”

The purpose of the course was to convert C-130 Flight Engineers and Loadmasters into Special Mission Airmen in preparation for the planned handover of the wing of a C-130 Tactical Airlift Unit to the new formal training unit. helicopter MH-139A Gray Wolf.

“This is the first step for enlisted Airmen who will remain with the 908th AW to become rotary wing Airmen,” explained Senior Master Sgt. Adam Childers, former flight engineer for the class and also a member of the Wing’s Program Integration Office, who helped set up the mobile training course. “This is the formal three-level course that turns 1A1X1, the Air Force specialty code for flight engineers, and 1A2X1, the Air Force specialty code for loadmasters, into 1A931, the Air Force specialty code for special mission airmen.”

The fact that all 908th members attending this course were seasoned aircrew made the job a little easier for everyone involved.

“Their experience has been very beneficial,” Bourne said. “They already have a good base and knew the fundamentals, which made the course easier to teach.”

Even with this solid foundation, the course was still necessary to ensure future mission success.

“Even with all of our experience, there was always something for everyone, as some parts of the course focus on things that most flight engineers don’t have experience in, while other parts of the course would focus on things that most loadmasters don’t have. experience,” said Master Sgt. Kyle Nagamatsu, a former loadmaster who was in the course.

Staff Sgt. James Emanuel, a former loadmaster who was on the course, likened the course to a pendulum, explaining it by saying, “The course helps bridge the gap we have from our experience in a C-130 by swinging from that experience to basic aviation knowledge, then focus on rotary wing rather than fixed wing.

As the 908th AW prepares for a handover, it has become a vital priority to get as many members trained and ready for the new mission as soon as possible. It was then that the 908th AW began coordinating with the Career Enlisted Aviator Center of Excellence to create a plan of attack.

“We tried to find a solution for our members who needed training and the ability to get that training to as many of our members as possible in such a short time,” Emanuel said. “We worked as a team with the Center of Excellence to find the best way forward.”

“This is the first BSMA MTT, but not the first MTT that the Enlisted Aircrew Center of Excellence has run,” explained the chief master sergeant. Gregory Gibbs, senior chief of 344 Training Squadron, the parent organization of the Career Enlisted Airman Center of Excellence. “Providing quality training and education, and improving Air Force lethality and readiness is our top priority, so we offer MTT options to accommodate large groups under tight timelines. For this specific course, the sending two TDY instructors instead of bringing a large group of trainees not only saved money but was also the only way for our team to meet the demand for AFRC training in a limited time frame.

Financial responsibility, availability of instructors, and timing all play a role in deciding whether an MTT is possible.

“We send out MTTs on a semi-regular basis, especially in situations like this when a flight organization converts airframes or mission sets and requires a group of retrained members,” said Master Sgt. chief. Timothy Barker, deputy commander, Career Enlisted Aviator Center of Excellence. “We have sent MTTs several times to support AFRC and ANG units. In situations where a large number of people need training, it is absolutely more financially responsible to send a few instructors than to bring an entire unit to JBSA-Lackland. The main limiting factor in whether the Center of Excellence can support an MTT is whether or not we have the availability of an instructor. Depending on the number of scheduled courses that we already have internally, we cannot always generate a team within the deadlines of the requesting unit. This BSMA MTT was part of a window where we had the availability of instructors, and sending the MTT allowed us to train the entire team within the tight deadlines of the AFRC.

There were a few additional benefits to having the 908th AW teach the course at Maxwell.

“We have our support agencies here, which are people and organizations that we know if we needed help instead of being in an unfamiliar location,” explained the senior master sergeant. Justin Nettles, a former loadmaster who was in the course. Emanual echoed Nettles’ sentiment, while adding, “It has allowed us to preserve business continuity and the ability to work on other tasks and tasks that we need to complete.”

The eight students who completed the course not only represent a first for the Career Enlisted Aviator Center of Excellence as the first BSMA taught away from Lackland, but they also represent another milestone for the 908th AW in the mission shift from C -130 to MH -139A Gray Wolf.

“We will be officially transitioning from the C-130 enlisted aircrew positions to the MH-139 special missions airman enlisted aircrew position,” Childers said.

The eight 908th students who graduated include two former flight engineers; Senior Staff Sgt. Adam Childers, Staff Sgt. Jashaun Hightower and six former loadmasters; Senior Staff Sgt. Justin Nettles, Staff Sgt. James Emmanuel, Staff Sgt. Andrew Jeter, Staff Sgt. Kyle Nagamatsu, Staff Sergeant. Brandon King and Senior Airman Lucas Bonner.

Date taken: 05.10.2022
Date posted: 05.10.2022 11:28
Story ID: 420356

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