Oklahoma National Guard exercises mission sustainment teams

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alex Kaelke
  • 137th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. – The 137th Special Operations Wing (SOW) conducted Mission Sustainment Team (MST) training Nov. 5-7.

Fifty-five Airmen from five squadrons in the 137th Special Operations Mission Support Group, Oklahoma Air National Guard, learned a variety of new skill sets during the training, including forklift driving, radio communications and aircraft refueling. The purpose of this cross-training is to ensure long-term mission sustainment, making Airmen more capable of operating in diverse deployed environments.

“MST is based off the concept that we have to become more flexible and agile in how we respond to our adversaries,” said Chief Master Sgt. Alquintin Steele, the senior enlisted leader of the 137th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron. “We’re no longer in an environment where it’s about how we can win the war, but it’s how we can sustain conditions long-term and be able to move into different environments quickly.”

MST training emphasizes proper pacing and good communication. For one MST exercise, Airmen refueled an MC-12W aircraft in a simulated hostile environment. The 137th SOW is one of two Air National Guard wings leading the charge in adapting how Airmen train in response to ever-changing threats.

“I think it’s very important for us to become multicapable Airmen instead of having Airmen only proficient in one specialty,” said Steele. “MST involves combining the skill sets of Airmen from multiple Air Force specialties into a quick-response force to help out wherever we’re needed.”