Mobility Operations School: ‘Velocity in training’

  • Published
  • By Mr. Rudy Becker
  • Commandant, Mobility Operations School
Imagine looking out at a flightline in a thunderstorm and witnessing a fuel spill. You yell over to your expediter who immediately calls the Maintenance Operations Center. 

Within seconds, you hear the sirens and watch trucks arrive on the scene to contain the spill. Guess where you are -- you are sitting in a classroom at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center learning to become a maintenance production supervisor! 

The Mobility Operations School is delivering award-winning training through the balanced use of technology and simulation, not only in the classroom, but also in the field and over the Web. 

In 2006, our air transportation on-line training was recognized as the best in the industry, winning the Brandon Hall "Excellence in Learning" Gold Award, competing against giants like Microsoft and Intel, and the only Department of Defense agency honored with the award. Our folks have earned numerous Air Force level awards for their innovative instruction, and the MOS was recently named Air Mobility Command's nominee for the Frank Brewer Trophy for Excellence in Aerospace Education for the second year running. 

The ultimate vision of our training is simple -- mirror the mission environment that our Airmen will be working in as closely as possible so when they show up at the work site, in garrison or deployed, their first impression is, "I've been here before, and I'm ready!"
Velocity and readiness are the names of the game at our two geographically separated detachments, whose charter is to prepare theater and global command and control experts, shaving weeks and months of spin-up time in the process. 

Detachment 1 at Hurlburt Field, Fla., is the gateway to theater air mobility operations where junior enlisted Airmen through general officers are prepared to operate the Air Mobility Division within Air and Space Operations Centers throughout the world. 

Prior to deploying to the Combined Air Operations Center in Southwest Asia, AMD members and the Director of Mobility Forces-Air receive realistic, hands-on, just-in-time training to ensure critical patients, supplies, personnel and fuel are delivered effectively to coalition aircraft and forces. 

Detachment 2 at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the center for teaching global mobility operations. Det. 2 creates the "mental toolkit" planners and executors need and require in order to operate in this constantly changing environment. The Global Mobility Air and Space Operations Course prepares Airmen to operate the Tanker Airlift Control Center, AMC's global AOC, while the command and control courses ensure effective local command post execution of AMC's mobility missions. In concert, these functions ensure U.S. and coalition partners have the resources at hand to meet any contingency. 

Our 34th Combat Training Squadron at Little Rock AFB, Ark., has the potential to be recognized as the host of what can be thought of as a "Mobility Red Flag" -- getting aircrews and support personnel their first five missions in a simulated high threat environment so when they show up for the fight, they've already "been there." 

Partnering with the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, aircrews and contingency response teams converge from around the world, including Germany, Great Britain, and Australia, to execute a realistic deployment into a bare base environment. Aircrews flying both air-land and airdrop missions respond to the videotaped launch of realistic ground threats as well as escape and evasion scenarios. 

Maintenance and operations personnel respond to power outages, demonstrations, mortar and sniper attacks as well as small unit organized attacks while coordinating with the host nation for support. 

Contingency Response Teams open and operate landing and drop zones with night vision goggles during 24-hour operations. The 34th CTS is also the center of cxcellence for Joint Precision Airdrop System training for mobility air forces.  This capability, while still in its infancy, is, for example, being employed daily in Afghanistan to deliver pinpoint airdrop accuracy to coalition forces. 

Back at Fort Dix, in addition to aircraft maintainers, we prepare operators and support personnel across the mobility spectrum -- air transportation, tactics, intelligence, aircrew resource management, contingency response and communication systems. 

Additionally, Fort Dix is the home for the Advanced Study of Air Mobility, or ASAM, Program -- one of the Air Force's newest intermediate developmental education initiatives designed to accelerate the development of future mobility leaders. 

Originally the inspiration of Gen. Ron Fogleman, 189 ASAM graduates are now fulfilling his vision to bring mobility expertise to combatant commanders and cultivate a core of mobility experts to lead AMC in the future. 

Fort Dix is also the center of our Web-based training effort, providing Airmen with 24-hour-a-day, seven days a week instant global access to training and delivering more than 10,000 graduates annually. 

We tie it all together with our registrar's staff delivering benchmark "soup to nuts" student support and our instructor/course development team providing a world-class faculty and curriculum. 

Your Mobility Operations School in action -- realism and velocity in training to develop our Airmen!