USAF EC hosts Virtual Conference on MCA Expeditionary Skills Training Program

  • Published
  • By Maj. George Tobias
  • U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center Public Affairs

More than 40 participants across multiple U.S. Air Force major commands took part in a virtual instructional system development conference hosted by the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center from July 14-16.

The purpose of the conference was to further the development of a training program based on the multi-capable Airmen training syllabus for agile combat employment, which was approved in January.

The syllabus set a base line standard for MAJCOMs and wings to train their Airmen to be multi-capable Airmen, said Maj. Jeffrey VanGuilder, Chief of Operations, Operations, Logistics, and Plans Directorate, USAF EC. The syllabus also presented multiple delivery options, with one being a USAF EC taught course.

Talking on what occurred during the virtual conference, VanGuilder said, “We brought in 40 plus folks from all the MAJCOMs, who provided us with their MAJCOM’s feedback and requirements on the MCA syllabus as we develop the MCA training program. The ISD was the next step in the process to develop a formal course taught by the USAF Expeditionary Center.”

The future course would be similar to courses already taught at the USAF EC like Field Craft-Hostile, Field Craft-Uncertain and Field Craft-Contingency Response, which provide Airmen with advanced expeditionary skills training.      

The idea of multi-capable Airmen represents “a very large cultural shift in the Air Force,” said VanGuilder.

In the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the Air Force was directed to “develop innovative operational concepts and new technology to be more lethal, adaptive, resilient, and able to fight effectively alongside allies and partners. It emphasizes forces that can deploy, survive, operate, maneuver, sustain, and regenerate while under persistent multi-domain attack.”  

Part of what this means as Lt. Col. Jeffery Blankenship, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School, explains, is forces “getting smaller, being able to disperse, being resilient, and executing adaptive basing; and under that adaptive basing concept comes the need for expeditionary skillsets that most of the Air Force does not currently get unless going to forward deployed locations.”

“This is a cultural shift from most Airmen getting ‘just in time’ training towards a targeted audience being trained as multi-capable Airmen built on a foundation of expeditionary skills,” said Blankenship.

The commands that took part in the virtual instructional system development conference included U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, Pacific Air Forces, Air Education and Training Command, National Guard Bureau, Air Force Reserve Command, Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Force Flight Standards Agency, and Headquarters Air Force.