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Engineering Installation Airmen conduct vehicle training class

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tony Harp
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

The Air National Guard Schoolhouse held its first Engineering Installation vehicle training class Dec. 4 to 15 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.

The class was to provide EI Airmen with training and experience on multiple pieces of excavating equipment to help better improve their mission readiness, said Master Sgt. William Gallagher, a cable and antenna systems technician at the ANG Schoolhouse.

The ANG Schoolhouse is host to the Lighting Force Academy, which provides advanced EI and communication training, and the Regional Equipment Operators Training School, which provides training on Airfield Damage Repair construction equipment. Having these two courses, along with the 201st RED HORSE Squadron nearby, the ANG Schoolhouse provides a unique environment for this opportunity to exist, said Gallagher.

This training is a proof of concept as EI instructors from the LFA are working with Civil Engineering instructors from REOTS to teach the course and evaluate all aspects of the training, said Gallagher.

In its first iteration, the class trained eleven EI Airmen from multiple ANG units across the nation, some of which whom will deploy in the near future to utilize the skills they have learned.

The training consisted of almost entirely hands-on experience with the equipment, learning to operate excavators, dump trucks, loaders, dozers and tractors with a backhoe, said Gallagher. Airmen also learned proper rigging techniques, understanding weight ratings for alloy chains and synthetic slings, and learning the proper way to estimate load weights when working with a truck crane. They also utilized the equipment to install maintenance holes and dig trenches for underground wiring, two tasks they will most likely see when working on projects while deployed.

Master Sgt. Bret Beninate, a student in the course and a cable and antenna systems technician with the 214th Engineering Installation Squadron out of Bell Chase, Louisiana, believes the experience he acquired from this course will be very beneficial.

It will be an excellent asset for the EI community if this course can continue, said Beninate.

Instructors from the ANG Schoolhouse will now have to evaluate the training to determine the course’s effectiveness and to determine manning and costs requirements for future iterations.