421st Combat Training Squadron
Published June 21, 2018
The 421st Combat Training Squadron is a selectively manned unit composed of 42 unique Air Force Specialty Codes dedicated to its Chief of Staff of the Air Force chartered mission to deliver expeditionary combat support training to over 5,000 USAF, Joint and NATO personnel annually. The 421 CTS "Scorpions" accomplishes this mission via thirteen expeditionary ground combat focused field training and academic courses, while managing $94 million worth of training facilities and equipment.
The Scorpions are responsible for developing and conducting pre-deployment field craft skills training for the hostile and uncertain environments, air advisor training, contingency response group formal training, air base opening readiness and executing Air Mobility Command’s Security Forces Phoenix Raven Qualification Course.
The Scorpions provide in-house course support through a fully operational medical clinic, 24-hour fitness center and lodging facilities with over 500 bed spaces. The Scorpions also maintain and operate a fleet of 147 tactical and general purpose vehicles, and account for over 1,000 U.S. and foreign weapon systems all designed to provide students with vital skills and familiarization training on resources available to them in their deployed locations.
The unit traces its history back to the Vietnam War, when it was activated on March 5, 1968 as the 821st Combat Security Police Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base, WA. The 821st played an instrumental role as part of Operation SAFESIDE, an initiative to improve the USAF’s capability to protect air bases located inside hostile environments. The unit was inactivated at Phan Rang Air Base in South Vietnam on May 31, 1971. It was eventually re-activated and consolidated with the 1314th Ground Combat Readiness Evaluation Squadron at Little Rock AFB, AR on August 1, 1984 where it would undergo additional re-designations until being renamed as the 421st Combat Training Squadron at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. on January 1, 1995 to the present day.