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Assistant VCSAF, CMSAF tour Sheppard with civic leaders
Airmen-in-Training at the 366th Training Squadron's electrical apprentice course guide a civic leader through a training problem Oct. 31, 2012 at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The electrical career field underwent a curriculum review by its Specialty Training Requirements Team Jan. 28 - Feb. 1 in preparation for the upcoming Utilization and Training Workshop. (U.S. Air Force photo/Danny Webb)
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Streamlining, modernizing tech training takes expert team

Posted 2/11/2013   Updated 2/11/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Dan Hawkins
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs


2/11/2013 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Top leaders from the Air Force civil engineering community gathered here Jan. 28 - Feb. 1 to conduct an exhaustive review of the electrical career field's technical training curriculum.

To accomplish the daunting task of covering 796 line items alone in the electrical Career Field Education and Training Plan (CFETP), the Air Force turns to a panel of career field experts called a Specialty Training Requirement Team (STRT).

STRT's, an essential part of each Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) in the Air Force and comprised of each career field's enlisted leadership, MAJCOM and technical training representatives, define the future training requirements for each individual job in the service and establish formal training requirements for Air Education and Training Command (AETC).

"It's a top to bottom scrub of the entire curriculum," said Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Alexander, who is on the Air Force Civil Engineering Center East staff at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. "We are trying to find efficiencies, duplications and trying to save the Air Force time, manpower and money."

The team's work also serves as the precursor to a Utilization and Training Workshop (U&TW), which is also conducted by each individual career field.  U&TW's are typically held every three years.

Ensuring each AFSC is conducting relevant training in relation to the mission is a primary objective for each STRT, while also understanding the need to review every process with a critical eye while thinking about how to do business as part of the cost conscious culture (C3).

"We want to make sure we're providing our people with the right training to do the mission," said Chief Master Sgt. Larry Blume, AETC's Civil Engineer Training Pipeline Manager and co-chair of the Electrical STRT. "If we identify areas that are over trained or redundant we will look at eliminating those items where the need no longer exists and if we identify areas that are under trained we will also look at increasing training in those areas to ensure we are providing the right training at the right time for our Airmen."

The purpose of the STRT is to draft Specialty Training Standards (STS) for the apprentice, 5- and 7-level courses, along with career development courses (CDC's).

Surveys from each career field are sent out about one year prior to an STRT, gathering key data from the field on what types of training are key to the curriculum, along with needed additions and deletions to each course at every level of training.

Each training survey asks supervisors and trainers to rate training tasks based on level of difficulty, training time needed to certify on the task, reoccurrence of tasks and other factors.

"The surveys are very detailed," said Mike Wilson, 366th Training Squadron training support flight chief at Sheppard. "The electrical STRT needs to know what level of training every single line item in the electrical career field training plan need to be accomplished in the most effective and cost conscious manner."

After the STRT concludes, a Cost Resource Estimate (CRE) is developed, outlining the overall costs associated with every aspect of training. There are also other meetings to determine joint service training requirements as well.

The task of putting together the training contract between AETC and its customers, as well as determining sourcing to pay for the training, is then turned over to the U&TW.

Resources for training that can be sourced internally by AETC are determined and the cost of any other needed resources is then billed to the entire career field through the career field manager.

Understanding the cost conscious culture and applying that philosphy to the overall training cost is a huge part of the entire U&TW process.

"Depending on the (dollar costs) that results from the CRE, whatever training we add that drives resources will be looked at during the U&TW," said Chief Master Sgt. Paul Legg, Chief of Force Development for the civil engineering career field. "It is very important we look at every process during the STRT and determine if it is mission essential or not ... we're not going to cut requirements simply to save money."

According to Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Lewis, Chief of Enlisted Matters for the Air Force civil engineering career field, it's been seven years since the last STRT was put together for the electrical career field due to budget cuts and the operations tempo across the service.

"Our last (electrical) STRT was in 2005," Lewis said. "Our world was a little bit different back then. As technology changes, as requirements changes, as the AOR (area of responsibility) changes, we have to keep our training relevant. It doesn't get more important than this."



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