Invigorated pre-deployment Chaplain Corps course forging warrior hearts and spirits for future fight

  • Published
  • U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center Public Affairs

Total Force Airmen must continuously train their mind, body, and technical proficiencies to fortify the will to win and to forge a warrior heart. For many Airmen, the necessity to prepare their spirit for a potential future fight is just as important.

The U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School has invigorated their 5-day pre-deployment Fieldcraft Chaplain Corps Course to better prepare religious support teams for duties in a deployed environment.

The multifaceted course is a combination of classroom and hands-on training designed to prepare and train Chaplain Corps members on how to assist and serve our Airmen best, in the worst-case scenarios.

“This course allows us to provide advanced ready training that we typically don’t receive,” said Lt. Col. Greg Jans, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center staff chaplain. “It is a concentrated effort, and it shows how we are pivoting and preparing for major power and near peer competition. We want to move away from just in time training to doing this on a more regular basis. Once Airmen are worldwide qualified, we can be sent with what we have and not what we want in regard to training.”

Course instructors make it clear that religious support team Airmen must understand the importance of communication and teamwork, while remembering they have to fire their weapon for themselves and their non-combatant chaplain whose sole responsibility is spiritual care.

“Our chaplains have to be ready for the difficult ministry that lies ahead with the wounded and the dying,” Chaplain Jans said. “We have garrison ministry and stay busy with readiness training, but we want to get to a place where we can train and focus on the things that we will be sent toward and how we will be used, which is spiritual triage in a combat environment.”

Prior to FC-HC, religious support teams received the same pre-deployment training as most Airmen based on their deployed location, but without the chaplain corps specific lessons. The revamped course emphasizes the need for all Airmen, including Chaplain teams, to possess a warrior heart.

“The focus in running toward a group of wounded is not to get the tourniquet high and tight like TCCC, but what ministry is to be done for our injured service members,” Chaplain Jans said. “We have ways of creating chaos to get their heart pounding and adrenaline flowing before sending them in to perform spiritual triage simulating what they will see on the battlefield. It is our responsibility to prepare their mind, body, and spirit for the fight. We are developing a warrior ministry ethos as we forge warrior hearts.”