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 Basic combat skills -- leaders say Air Force needs more training - 4/26/2007
Army, Air Force leaders examine in-lieu-of training

Posted 4/12/2007   Updated 4/12/2007 Email story   Print story

    


by 2nd Lt. Nick Plante
81st Training Wing Public Affairs


4/12/2007 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss., (AETCNS) -- More than 40 functional experts met here recently to formulate solutions to challenges and validate training and equipment requirements for Airmen performing Army missions. 

Second Air Force hosted the first In-Lieu-of Training and Equipment Review Board, bringing together leaders from Air Force headquarters, Air Force and Army major commands, expeditionary mission support groups and functional area managers from highly-tasked career fields.

"The beauty of the TERB is that it's comprised of members from all the various organizations and agencies that influence the sourcing, equipping and training of our Airmen," said Maj. Gen. Michael Gould, 2nd Air Force commander.

"Acknowledging Army training differs from Air Force training in culture, content and delivery, the TERB members have made great strides bridging the gaps -- thus ensuring Airmen are postured for success," the general said.

The leaders discussed challenges that face ILO Airmen, including determining proper training and equipment and implementing procedures to better prepare Airmen for combat skills training and "outside the wire" operations.

Lt. Col. David Babyak, 2nd Air Force director of ILO training, said the TERB took into account feedback from deployed commanders and ILO Airmen to change the training curriculum and equipment being issued. "The result is our ILO Airmen are better prepared and equipped to perform their mission," Colonel Babyak said.

ILO training prepares Airmen for nontraditional combat environments in support of the various combatant commanders' requirements placing Airmen in expeditionary ground combat support functions.

The training takes place at eight core Army training locations: Camp Shelby, Miss.; Ft. Hood and Ft. Bliss, Texas; Ft. Sill, Okla.; Ft. Lewis, Wash.; Ft. McCoy, Wis.; Ft. Dix, N.J.; and Ft. Bragg, N.C.

The core training modules Airmen attend include weapons, medical, communications, media awareness, and specfic driver training. Additionally, all Airmen receive theater-specific immersion training providing key skill sets enabling them to operate "outside the wire."

Capt. Jeff Becker, 2nd Air Force ILO chief, said the board was able to validate 21 of the 24 mission sets.

The board also addressed equipment concerns.

Col. Lawrence Jackson, 732nd EMSG commander, Balad Air Base, Iraq, stressed the importance of adequacy and uniformity in the Airmen's equipment and demonstrated his individual body armor and modular lightweight load-carrying equipment.

Expeditionary Mission Support Groups are the higher headquarters in control of ILO Airmen in their respective area of responsibility.

"It doesn't matter if it's green stuff or blue stuff, we just need to make sure the Airmen have the right stuff," Colonel Jackson said.

Along with the equipment concerns, late-notice deployment notifications to Airmen tasked for ILO missions and notifications informing EMSGs where the Airmen are assigned and how/when they're transported downrange were addressed.

"Air Force leadership, from the chief of staff on down, is actively engaged in doing everything possible to ensure all Airmen are fully trained and equipped to perform new 'outside the wire' missions they're being asked to do in-lieu-of land forces in the area of responsibility," General Gould said.



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