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Preparing Airmen who get America to the fight

  • Published
  • By Mr. Rudy Becker
  • U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center
The Mobility Operations School In Action

At every impact point in the mobility enterprise there is a complex network of professionals trained by the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center ensuring that it's all done right. This network features units tasked to deploy equipment and personnel, aerial ports loading airplanes, maintenance operations centers and command posts guiding the launch, Tactical Airlift Control Center and global Air Mobility Divisions providing command and control, and contingency response teams providing reception at remote, often austere airfields. The Mobility Operations School provides in-depth training that develops proficient Airmen and equips them with the knowledge and tools necessary to make these coordinated actions seamless.

"Mirroring the Mission Environment in the Classroom"

The prevailing theme you will find in Mobility Operations School training is our focus on mirroring the mission environment in the classroom.

In our Installation Deployment Officer Course, prospective IDOs find themselves in a virtual Deployment Control Center confronted with the challenges of deploying a wing to an austere location thousands of miles away. Likewise, in our Maintenance Production and Supervision Simulator, flight line expediters coordinate aircraft launches, fuel spills, and engine fires, or confront snowstorms and high winds. Simulation and scenario-based training abound to ensure graduating Airmen are promptly "mission ready," whether deployed or fulfilling a role at home station.

PowerPoint lectures are minimized by delivering knowledge-based material via online training before our Airmen ever arrive in the classroom. This blended learning strategy delivers the dual benefits of a "training-ready" student in our high ops tempo world. Our goal is for every graduate to leave the Center and return to their duty station confident in their ability to accomplish their mission regardless of circumstances because they've already been there and done that at the EC.

One graduate's assessment summed it up: "I learned more in eight days at the Center than in three months driving around on the flight line!"

"Velocity in Training"

In this environment of slim budgets and little spare manpower, every resource must be leveraged to get our mission done safely, efficiently, and most important, effectively. That includes training.

As just one example, in 2006 the commander of Air Mobility Command directed focus on airlift velocity enhancements, supporting one of the most challenging transformation efforts in AMC's recent history. The MOS's development of the Aerial Port Expeditor Course supported this effort, delivered in just six months for both the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster programs.

The agility offered by the EC allowed training to be developed and delivered rapidly online and through Mobile Training Teams. Aerial porters loading aircraft without loadmasters to increase mission velocity resulted in a reduction of mobility aircraft down time of 23% command-wide.

"Mobile and Online Training: Force Multipliers"

Mobile Training Teams and online training have proven to be force multipliers due to the ability to reach large numbers of Airmen close to home with dramatically lower costs in travel and quality of life.

Until recently, the Air Force long suffered from erratic and inefficient deployment from home station due to inadequate training for Unit Deployment Managers. After delivering an IDO course in 2009, the Expeditionary Center developed a comprehensive course in October 2010 to assist installation deployment officers across the Air Force by providing standardized training for all UDMs. The weeklong in-residence course is held 12 times a year, training over 200 UDMs annually. Additionally, an MTT approach was again deployed to reach IDOs and UDMs worldwide.

The UDM MTT was an ambitious project focused on providing training to over 85 active duty Air Force installations from every major command. Our mobile teams now reach over 600 UDM students annually.

In May 2011, the MOS also unveiled its UDM online course. This course is primarily intended as a prerequisite for in-residence and mobile training, but is also a valuable stand-alone course for individuals waiting for formal training or as a refresher of core UDM knowledge.

Mobile and online training is employed across the entire spectrum of our training, including maintenance, aerial port, command and control, and contingency response. These programs have resulted in well over $30 million in savings, not to mention more time at home for our Airmen.

CCAF Credit!

A significant bonus provided to our graduating Airmen is our affiliation with the Community College of the Air Force. Well known as the Air Force's opportunity for Airmen to earn degrees in their specialized occupation, CCAF granted over 33,000 college credits to EC graduates in 2011.

In a recent compliance inspection of the Center, CCAF held up the EC as a benchmark, one-of-a-kind institution for their processes in delivering effective training. The Center was also first in the Air Force to earn CCAF credit for online training.

So, whether you are a new "Port Dawg" working at the 305th Aerial Port Squadron, or a senior officer lined up to serve as Director of Mobility Forces for a disaster relief operation, the U.S. Air Force Mobility Operations School stands determined to deliver the absolute best training you've ever received--your partner in getting America to the fight!

For more information about the courses offered at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, please contact the Registrar's Office at (609) 754-7730.