CAMP ATTERBURY JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ind. - Airmen from the 181st Civil Engineer Squadron participated in cross-functional training exercises at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in March.
The multi-day training included operating heavy construction equipment, clearing routes and land navigation to ensure the 181st CES can provide mission-ready Airmen for domestic and overseas operations.
“In a nutshell, we’re getting ready for group-level training of [the 181st CES] for domestic operations,” said Air Force 1st Lt. Ian Ashland, the operations officer in charge of the 181st CES.
Unlike typical drill weekend training at Hulman Field, the facilities at Camp Atterbury provide distinct training capabilities.
“Camp Atterbury is the only place where we can do multiple levels of training,” said Ashland. “For example, some guys only get to watch videos on base. This training [at Camp Atterbury] provides cross-functional training opportunities.”
In particular, it allowed cross-training between different career fields so every Airman is able to assist with mission-essential tasks.
“It’s called MRA [or mission-ready Airmen],” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Granville Carpenter, an engineering assistant with the 181st CES. “The training makes it so you can jump in any functional area and be helpful.”
The training aligned with enhanced requirements to innovate and modernize the capabilities of Airmen to defend the state and nation.
“The training this drill weekend is part of mission-ready Airman requirements, including land navigation, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high yield Explosives (CBRNE), radio etiquette and convoy operations,” said Ashland. “We also trained on the military decision-making process and safety requirements.”
Airmen with the 181st CES recognized the benefits of the training.
“It’s a little different from normal training where we focus on construction,” said Carpenter. “We also did land navigation and CBRNE. We had a blast.”
The readiness training provided an added benefit for the Airmen.
“Morale,” said Ashland. “I’ve been in CE for seven years and never done anything like this. It’s exciting.”