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Maintainers test experimental battlefield concepts

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Matt Schwartz
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. - Members of the 193rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron conducted a multi-purpose training event June 23 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, designed to increase mission readiness and awareness of wartime skills.

The exercise was unique and unlike what many of the participants have encountered before. The organizers feel events like this will help create Multi-Capable Airmen who are more prepared for future conflict. The MCA concept is an approach that sees Airmen performing outside of their trained profession.

“One team could have completed all four of the repairs in the scenario, but we are training to do more with less and in a more austere environment,” said Senior Master Sgt. Micah Good, 193rd SOMXS fabrication supervisor. “Airmen landing in an environment with small teams and not having every AFSC on site could require atypical teamwork to complete the mission.”

The exercise was designed to give junior enlisted Airmen more authority to make more complex decisions than is typically demanded.

“Our maintainers are thinking outside the box and pushing out of their comfort zones,” said Lt. Col. Marvin Laing, 193rd SOMXS commander. “Learning different specialties will offer a holistic approach of how to get the aircraft back into the air, if forced into a similar situation down range.”

In turn, these Airmen were able to directly provide feedback on the proof of concept, influencing how future scenarios are approached.

“This training allowed me to see how other specialties operate, gain a little experience in them, and highlighted the importance their jobs have in getting the aircraft back in the air.” said Staff Sgt. Alan McCutcheon, Munitions Material Section Chief. “Conducting these exercises will lead us towards a more flexible and capable force to improve readiness and prepare for future fights.”

The exercise also received support from six shops representing two additional squadrons. These additional units exposed maintainers to the missions and capabilities of outside agencies.