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Schoolhouse Rock: Fort Leonard Wood

  • Published
  • By Emma Loscalzo
  • Headquarters Air Force, Office of the Director of Civil Engineers

Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri is home to the Air Force’s 368th Training Squadron (TRS), which provides initial skills and advanced level training in the areas of engineering, pavements & equipment, and emergency management. Originally located at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, the 368 TRS was first activated in October 2018.

Now, over a thousand Airmen undergo training with the 368 TRS every year at Fort Leonard Wood, learning a range of skills before receiving their first assignment. The Schoolhouses at Fort Leonard Wood are adaptable and innovative, molding trainings to the Airmen they train and the environments they will encounter.

The Pavements and Equipment Schoolhouse has reduced classroom lectures by 30 percent, which has “freed up more valuable training time for students to actively engage with the equipment and objectives,” said TSgt. Shawn Dorsey, Pavements and Construction Equipment School Section Chief. Over 400 Prime BEEF and RED HORSE Airmen train at the Pavements and Equipment Schoolhouse annually for 61 academic days.

The Schoolhouses have also innovated beyond the classroom to proactively deter against strategic competitors and maximize efficient training. An example Dorsey shared of innovation at the Pavements and Construction Equipment Schoolhouse is the introduction of wheeled excavators which shows “the evolving nature of construction equipment.”

Engineers at Fort Leonard Wood not only learn in new settings and receive innovative trainings, but they are also prepared for future adversarial threats. Emergency management (EM) students are trained on new technologies as they are added to the field. TSgt. Anthony Bennet, Emergency Management School Instructor, shared that the Schoolhouse “receives EM equipment from Air Force Civil Engineering Center to ensure students see the most current inventory before reporting to their first duty station.”

Updated training plays a major role in the preparedness of new Airmen. “Technical training graduates are capable of deploying and performing their designated specialty at the apprentice-level on the first day of arrival to their first duty station,” said Bennett. Training at the schoolhouses is continually evolving to meet new age threats.

Students in the Engineering Schoolhouse are given “examples of past and current world events to paint a picture of what skillsets and expectations they might meet when they leave the training environment for the operational environment,” shared MSgt. Kyle Mitchell, Engineering School Section Chief.

Every year, approximately 468 Airmen are trained in the engineering curriculum. The Engineering Schoolhouse has continuously found innovative ways to push engineers towards a higher level of readiness. The Rapid Airfield Damage Recovery (RADR) table “was born from the need to modernize tactics, techniques and procedures...from the need to quickly identify and characterize airfield damage and hazards to inform prioritization of repairs in establishing the Minimum Airfield Operating Surface,” shared Mitchell.

No matter the learning style, no matter the threat, Schoolhouses such as those at Fort Leonard Wood are constantly adapting to train Airmen to be prepared to win future conflicts.