HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base officials held a first-of-its-kind training event at Camp Patriot to teach first-term Airmen basic readiness skills.
The one-day training event held May 25 covered weapons familiarization, camouflage and concealment, communication and individual movement tactics.
“The purpose of the course was to teach readiness skills that most Airmen don’t learn after basic training unless they are special ops or security forces,” said James McClure, Hanscom’s expeditionary readiness training manager, who organized the training.
Seven Airmen from the 66th Air Base Group participated.
“It was a great refresher since I don’t get to do things like this in my career field,” said Senior Airman Brittany Misher, 66th Comptroller Squadron financial operations technician, who has been in the Air Force for less than three years.
Misher said the readiness training provides Airmen with important skills for when they deploy.
“[We] really need to be prepared for when that time comes,” she said. “The hands-on training is what will stick with people the most.”
Organizers said there were no evaluations; it was strictly a training environment.
“These courses will lay the foundation for Airmen readiness competencies,” said McClure.
Airman 1st Class Kayla Stevens, in the Air Force for less than two years, called the experience essential to her professional development.
“I hope to deploy sometime during my enlistment,” she said. “This is why we are in the military.”
Representatives from the Air Base Group served as observers and instructors.
“Airmen can now more confidently operate a basic weapon system in a time of need,” said Staff Sgt. Victor Bouthot, SFS Combat Arms Training and Maintenance instructor. “Some Airmen have not seen or fired this weapon system since basic training ... it’s a perishable skill when not utilized regularly.”
Organizers say that maintaining the warfighter’s edge is possible through hands-on training events.
“It highlights the things we should be working on to ensure that we are prepared and ready whenever it is our time to deploy,” said Misher.