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Extended drill brings 167th Airlift Wing together for four days of training

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle
  • 167th Airlift Wing

The 167th Airlift Wing combined June and July drill weekends into an extended, four-day unit training assembly, June 9-12, at Shepherd Field, Martinsburg, W.Va.

Referred to as “super drill”, the extended Unit Training Assembly (UTA) allowed Airmen more time to focus on job-specific training and readiness requirements.

Chief Master Sgt. Jody Miller, 167th Deployment and Distribution Flight chief, was tapped to organize the extended UTA schedule. He worked closely with the wing’s Unit Training Managers (UTM) to ensure training spaces and class availability were coordinated to meet the wing’s needs.

Job-specific training was scheduled the first two days and then the focus turned to big-ticket items like Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) training, Tactical Combat Casualty Care and weapons qualifications, Miller explained.

“I saw a lot of training get accomplished here over super drill,” Miller said. “I saw safety training to explosive handling, forklift training to water survival, communications training to healthcare. I saw a mini exercise conducted from the planning stage, through the logistics planning stage into the traffic management office and then air transportation, out to the operations phase and then loading onto an aircraft.”

The 167th Logistics Readiness Squadron processed one part of the Mobility Readiness Spares Package as part of its AFSC-specific training. MRSP kits are used to support aircraft downrange.

“We palletized everything here and took it to the small air terminal and got to see how they prepared it for deployment and then released it to the loadmasters for loading onto the plane,” said Senior Airman Summer Wilson. “It was good for us to see that process from the beginning which starts with us in LRS to the loading onto the plane for shipping.”

Aircraft maintainers and aircrew utilized the extra training time to don their Mission Oriented Personal Protective (MOPP) gear and practice performing their duties in a simulated contaminated environment.

“The training brought to light issues that you wouldn’t see without putting on the gear,” said Senior Airman William Gossard, a crew chief for the 167th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “We started sweating immediately, the fatigue kicked in and then the struggles with the carbon mitts on top of two layers of gloves makes it challenging going through our normal tasks.”

Services specialists with the 167th Force Support Squadron set up a Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen (SPEK) outside of the dining facility and served lunch to 167th Airmen similar to how food would be prepared and served in a contingency environment.

“Setting up the tent and making the food was good practice,” said services specialist, Airman Skylar Bingaman. “Super drill is beneficial because it gives us perspective on other people’s jobs and they can see what we do.”

The extended UTA concluded with a wing photo on the flight line in the morning then squadron picnics and fitness and morale activities in the afternoon.   

“Super drill was successfully planned and executed. There is always room to be better, but the important thing is that we came together as a team and ended as a team,” said Miller.