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MacDill keeps the sword sharp

Story by Airman 1st Class Andrea Thacker
Macdill Thunderbolt editor

"The families of America have entrusted their sons and daughters to us for military service," said Maj. Dave Cresswell, 6th Air Mobility Wing exercise and plans. "We have an obligation and responsibility as supervisors and leaders to provide the most up-to-date and modern training to prepare (our troops) for real world survivability in a deployed location."

Twelve squadrons and two contractors from MacDill took part in a training exercise to refresh their skills in several areas of readiness.

Squadron and group commanders picked personnel through their Unit Deployment Managers to participate. "This was just in time, hands-on training for primary and secondary mobility position personnel," said Cresswell.

This was the first of what MacDill leaders hope will continue in subsequent classes focusing on Aerospace Expeditionary Force preparation.

To do this, MacDill's functional experts from security forces, the medical group, disaster preparedness and explosive ordnance disposal, provided detailed training in each of their functional areas.

"It (the training) is like anything else; the more you apply it the better you get at it," said Cresswell.

The goal is to ensure personnel vulnerable for deployments know what to do before they are confronted with the actual events.

This and classes to follow will incorporate training in Self Aid Buddy Care, ordnance reconnaissance, chemical warfare and attack responses, all of which are explained in detail in the Airman's Manual and the Ability to Survive and Operate guide.

These references are all part of the readiness classes first introduced in basic military training. Airman Kendrick Mosley, 6th Security Forces, was happy to have been part of the exercise. "It's preparing me for the real world," said Mosley.

Mosley compared this to Warrior Week applied in BMT at Lackland AFB, Texas, and now has a greater appreciation for the value of the training and knows why they teach and challenge these procedures. After the classroom training was complete, trainees partook in a scripted scenario with increased MOPP levels and alarm conditions to practice first hand what they just learned. The 6th Services Squadron erected a field kitchen and served hot meals to all participants.

"Hear it, see it and apply it," are tenets of this training curriculum.




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