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Total force basic trainees part of Air Force Reserve history

AFR makes history

Air Force enlisted basic trainees just arriving at the 433rd Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, await instructions from the military training instructors. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees, who will graduate in mid-July. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history

Newly arrived Air Force basic trainees wait on the bus while a member of the 433rd Training Squadron's military training instructor team checks for them on the roster. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees, who will graduate in mid-July. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history

A 433rd Training Squadron military training instructor prepares her trainees for the dining facility procedure. The trainees, who arrived at the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland squadron, will graduate in July with a host of skills, knowledge and discipline. The 433rd TRS is the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force. It fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history

Air Force basic trainees enjoy a brief respite from training during their lunch break at the dining facility. This dining facility is in the 433rd Training Squadron. The 433rd TRS is the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force. It fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history

Basic trainees learn drill and ceremonies, among a host of other skills and information, during the seven-week program. Here, a 433rd Training Squadron military training instructor observes as an MTI in training works with the basic trainees. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history

Master Sgt. Matthew Scott, 433rd Training Squadron operations chief, examines a new trainee's personal belongings prior to the trainee being allowed to stow his gear. The process ensures trainees have the items they will need for the seven-week course, prevents trainees from accessing prohibited items or material during basic training, and establishes initial standards. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history

Chief Master Sgt. Tamara Strange, 433rd Training Squadron superintendent, examines a new trainee's personal belongings prior to the trainee being allowed to stow his gear. The process ensures trainees have the items they will need for the seven-week course, prevents trainees from accessing prohibited items or material during basic training, and establishes initial standards. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history

An Army and Air Force Exchange Service employee prepares to take basic trainees' uniform size information, which will be used to order trainees' uniforms. The newly arrived trainees, assigned to the Air Force Reserve's 433rd Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, will graduate in July after seven weeks in basic training. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history

433rd Training Squadron members at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, prepared flight information bulletin boards in every flight dorm prior to the arrival of the squadron's 500-plus trainees. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full compliment of basic trainees, who will graduate in mid-July. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history
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Master Sgt. Steven Potter, 433rd Training Squadron logistics and physical training NCO, hangs the squadron chain of command board in squadron superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Tamara Strange's office. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating 500-plus basic trainees, who will graduate in mid-July. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history
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Painting, repair and other preparation was part of the 433rd Training Squadron's mission in May when the unit moved to its own building in preparation for standing up as an independent, fully mission responsible basic military training squadron. The all-Reserve squadron assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, accepted 500-plus basic trainees in May, and will graduate that group in mid-July. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history
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Maj. Robert Glover left), an active duty officer assigned to the 324th Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, helps move office furnishings into the 433rd Training Squadron building prior to the 433rd receiving 500-plus basic trainees. Glover is temporarily assigned to the 433rd as its director of operations, supporting the squadron's historic full standup. The 433rd TRS, one of seven squadrons under the 340th Flying Training Group, is the only Air Force Reserve MTI squadron in the Air Force. In May, the squadron made history when it stood up as a fully independent squadron responsible for training an equitable percentage of the basic trainee population. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history
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Lt. Col. Tony Erard, 433rd Training Squadron commander, considers appropriate locations in the squadron's new building for its many historic images. The 433rd TRS, one of seven squadrons under the 340th Flying Training Group, is the only Air Force Reserve MTI squadron in the Air Force. In May, the squadron made history when it stood up as a fully independent squadron responsible for training an equitable percentage of the basic trainee population. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history
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Tech. Sgt. Kristy Robinson, 433rd Training Squadron Military Training Instructor, guides a trainee in proper positioning during drill and ceremony instruction. The 433rd TRS is the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force. It fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history
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Air Force enlisted basic trainees accept initial instruction and training from their from a military training instructors at the 433rd Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees, who will graduate in mid-July. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history
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Air Force enlisted basic trainees accept initial instruction and training from their from a military training instructors at the 433rd Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees, who will graduate in mid-July. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

AFR makes history
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Air Force enlisted basic trainees accept initial instruction and training from their from a military training instructors at the 433rd Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The 433rd TRS, the only all Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force, fully activated as a basic military training squadron in May, and accepted responsibility for training and educating a full complement of basic trainees, who will graduate in mid-July. The 433rd TRS is assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Several hundred Total Force Air Force enlisted basic military trainees assigned to the 433rd Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas are making history as the first class to enter training in the fully operational, all-Reserve military training squadron.

The 433rd TRS, one of seven squadrons assigned to the 340th Flying Training Group at JBSA-Randolph, is the only all-Reserve military training instructor squadron in the Air Force. Normally, the squadron's Reserve MTIs are embedded in Regular Air Force (active duty) squadrons to support Air Education and Training Command's enlisted accession mission.

In May, however, the squadron called its instructors back to the unit, and all members (as well as local Reserve Officer Training Corps volunteers) streamed into their newly assigned building to paint, repair and prepare it for trainees. Now a fully-operational squadron, the Reserve team is working side-by-side with the six active duty BMT squadrons, with full responsibility for all mission requirements.

The Reserve squadron, supplemented by former active duty MTIs who were invited to return temporarily to MTI duty, has activated five dozen Airmen to "push" 15 flights of 30 to 40 trainees each through the seven-week basic military training program. Volunteers from the 433rd Airlift Wing at JBSA-Lackland are rounding out the team, serving in the charge of quarters (CQ) office.

The 433rd TRS, with the 500-plus trainees in its care, is not only making history, but has established itself as a quintessential Total Force Integration unit.

The Reserve squadron conducted a capability demonstration in October 2018, standing up and pushing four flights through the course, to illustrate its ability to activate when necessary. That necessity presented itself as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"To ensure we can maintain adequate physical separation between trainees, the 737th Training Group determined the best way to meet Air Force mission requirements while protecting Airmen would be to stand up an additional squadron, which gives us additional physical space," said the 433rd TRS operations NCO, Master Sgt. Matthew Scott.

The 2018 capability demonstration showed the Reserve team was more than up to the challenge.

Processes and routines are anything but routine under COVID-19 conditions, though, so MTIs, superintendents, logisticians, and more are adjusting, sometimes on the fly, to ensure trainees get the education and training critical to future success, but in a safe environment.

"Their first two weeks are a lot different from pre-COVID classes," Scott said. "For example, they don't go as a group to get their uniform issue anymore. Now AAFES sends representatives to the squadron to get all the pertinent information, and the uniforms are ordered and delivered when they're ready. Trainees get their PT gear early, though, so they are uniform, and they do get values-based instruction, records processing and weapons training during the first two weeks, as well. We're keeping things pretty flexible because for the first two weeks we're also watching for any indicators or symptoms of illness."

Scott, a former RegAF MTI, knows all about flexibility on the fly. As a Reserve Airman for about a month, he's learning the ins-and-outs of Reserve duty while helping stand up a Reserve squadron that is composed of the gamut of Airmen from bases (and cities) around the country. With 20-plus years on active duty (five of those as an MTI), he brings a fresh, total force perspective to the team.

As a member of the leadership team, Scott works side-by-side with MTI recruiter Master Sgt. Robert Elliott, Superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Tamara Strange and Commander Lt. Col. Tony Erard. Between them, they have set the stage for success for the trainees and the training teams.

For Elliott, the challenge of managing the MTI recruiting function is definitely affected by COVID-19 travel restrictions, coupled with a host of additional and interim duties.

"When you have exceptional performers assigned to the unit, you can expect to lose them to growth opportunities," Elliott said. "For example, one of our sharpest members, an instructor supervisor, has been selected as the enlisted executive to the 22nd Air Force command chief. It's a great opportunity for her, but does impact our structure. Once we select the right person for the position, that will open additional opportunities throughout the squadron. We are always looking for Reserve Airmen interested in this opportunity, and those interested should be aware that MTI duty reaps tangible and intangible rewards for the strongly independent, career minded, highly motivated professional NCOs who want to help mold tomorrow's Air Force."

As busy as they are with their primary duties, squadron members are also engaged in other activities, including teaching leadership and team development seminars for local and command-level events and sending honor guard teams to support command- and USAF-level events.

"We have an obligation to make the Air Force Reserve, and the Air Force, better and we take that obligation very seriously," said Erard. "Our professional Airmen are honored to share their skills with their total force teammates."

Those skills were evident during the 2018 capability demonstration, and Chief Strange expects to see similar successes when this class graduates in mid-July.

"From the strategic perspective, the 433rd demonstrated its ability to shoulder a significant share of the BMT mission, and trainees assigned to 433rd confirmed their instructors’ abilities, earning individual and team recognition," the chief said. "One flight earned the commander’s excellence award (overall honor flight) and the top female fitness award. One flight earned the BEAST (Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training) excellence award, and another took second for male fitness excellence. Six of the top fitness performers were 433rd trainees, and 21 earned the distinction of honor graduate. We think these trainees are going to shine, as well."

Trainees assigned to the 433rd TRS received their uniform issue June 16, a month before their scheduled graduation date. With full-force training and education underway, the days are long for trainees and their MTI guides, but the goal is in sight.

"We're excited about where the unit is headed," Erard said. "This is the first of what will be several full capability classes. Less than a week after this class graduates, we'll have another 500 trainees in the building, ready to learn and ready to take their place in the long blue line."

NOTE: Stay tuned to the 340th Flying Training Group website and social media sites as we continue to follow the 433rd Training Squadron.

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