The first Landing Zone Operations Course launches at 435th Training Squadron

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Zachary Boyer

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – The 435th Training Squadron on Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, in partnership with Headquarters Air Force Airfield Operations Force Development Branch, launched the first Headquarters Air Force sponsored Landing Zone Operations Course specifically designed for the Airfield Operations community.

“Our goal is to prepare the Landing Zone Safety Officers with the U.S. Air Force’s best possible training,” said Master Sgt. Levi Rodney, 435th Training Squadron academic instructor. “This will prepare them to assess, set up and operate landing zones throughout the world.”

The demand for Landing Zone Control Officers (LZCO) and Landing Zone Safety Officers (LZSO) increased enormously, which put a significant strain on the special warfare and combat controller career fields.

“Airfield operations career fields stepped up and they started filling [the mission gap],” said Maj. Andrew Miller, senior analyst at Department of the Air Force, Airfield Operations Branch. “Once we decided to provide the LZ mission, we did not have a way to train our Airmen.  We've got to provide the actual training for our airmen to perform this function … let's build this course.”

Airmen that complete the LZO Course will earn a special experience identifier showing they have been formally trained and certified.

“We hope to spark a cultural change in the Airfield Operations community and Air Force writ large; toward a focus on true readiness as we navigate the changes in the times,” Rodney said. “Shifting the focus from anti-terrorism to a broader strategy of Agile Combat Employment with near-peer competitors.  In order to bring that strategic vision to the tactical level, we must first equip our Airmen with the relevant set of Multi-Capable-Airman knowledge, skills, and experience.”