KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. --
The 173rd Mission Support Group wrapped up their week-long Task Qualification Training at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore. May 2, 2021.
Task Qualification Training is a shop-level training program and its purpose is to ensure that each unit has the ability to perform their duties in a contested environment. The TQT took approximately a month to plan, prepare and organize all facets of the training, then another week to perform the tasks of the specified training, as well as Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive training.
To prepare for the unexpected or for deployed situations is important for Airmen to gain experience and comfortability while donning their Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear before placement into a contested environment.
“All of the Mission Support Group’s squadrons and flights broken down to specific AFSC’s are UTC tasked and could deploy at a moment’s notice even outside the deployment window, so having equipment available to train and deploy is an upmost priority,” said Senior Master Sgt. Eric Storer, 173rd Civil Engineering programs and compliance manager.
Preparation comes from the training side of the house, using unit and shop-level training managers. Once they have chosen the individuals and the tasks to be performed they work with the unit deployment manager to schedule C-bag training gear build-up. This bag build-up is completed by the material management section in the 173rd Logistics Readiness Squadron. Once the bags are built the UDM notifies the tasked Airmen to pick up and sign for the equipment.
“This training also highlights equipment serviceability so that it can be captured and channeled up to leadership and the National Guard Bureau for future funding and availability of necessary equipment,” said Storer.
Once the C-bags are distributed to members, it is their responsibility to ensure they know how to properly don the gear for protection and functionality. This can be learned through updated CBRNE training, which guides Airmen to know what specifically should be worn for certain MOPP levels.
“This training did make me feel more comfortable when it comes to wearing the suit in a real world situation,” said Airman 1st Class Holly Tait, 173rd Force Support Squadron human resources specialist. “It helped remind me the feeling and the reasoning as to why it is important to be wearing it and to be quick when suiting up.”
In the future, the individual shops will be able to accomplish this training on their own, working the same sets in less than two weeks versus the one month timeframe. With this program being tasked to shops, the drill status guardsmen wouldn’t be required to be on station until bags are ready to pick up.
“This super drill we had 25% of the mission support group accomplish this training,” said Storer. “The goal is to have 100% of the individuals within MSG complete this by next year. We created another tasker with-in the role set, to have 100% of MSG Airmen sized for their MOPP gear and tracked on a spreadsheet within the logistics readiness squadron so that when individuals are tasked they can start building bags as soon as the names are known, either training or real world.”
This Task Qualification Training was created by the 173rd MSG leadership and is in the beginning stages of expanding to other group-level units around the base.