HomeArticle Display

New training course: From AETC to Holloman

Staff Sgt. Daniel Boyd, 49th Materiel Maintenance Squadron, prepares to install a Fabric Installation Bracket on the eave roof frame of a BEAR Base dome shelter June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Sergeant Perish is a student of the new course called Structural Contingency. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Staff Sgt. Daniel Boyd, 49th Materiel Maintenance Squadron, prepares to install a Fabric Installation Bracket on the eave roof frame of a BEAR Base dome shelter June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. Sergeant Boyd is a student of the new course called Structural Contingency. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Airman 1st Class Jeremiah Perish from the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, a student in the new Structural Contingency Course, is preparing a throw-over rope before attaching it to a fabric pull-over cable in the setting up of a BEAR Base dome shelter June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The students in the course tore down the shelter earlier and returned it to operational status the same day. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Airman 1st Class Jeremiah Perish from the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, a student in the new Structural Contingency Course, is preparing a throw-over rope before attaching it to a fabric pull-over cable in the setting up of a BEAR Base dome shelter June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The students in the course tore down the shelter earlier and returned it to operational status the same day. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Senior Airman Wynn Hartson, 49th Materiel Maintenance Squadron, separates throw-over ropes which will then be attached to the fabric pull-over cables June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The cables are then pulled over the shelter?s roof frame and attached to the bay fabric, covering the shelter. Airman Hartson is one of the students who set up a BEAR Base dome shelter as a part of the new Structural Contingency Course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Senior Airman Wynn Hartson, 49th Materiel Maintenance Squadron, separates throw-over ropes which will then be attached to the fabric pull-over cables June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The cables are then pulled over the shelter's roof frame and attached to the bay fabric, covering the shelter. Airman Hartson is one of the students who set up a BEAR Base dome shelter as a part of the new Structural Contingency Course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Airman 1st Class Chauncy Williams, 49th Material Maintenance Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Shawn Cullen, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, attach door fabric tensioning straps to their ratchets in the setting up of a BEAR Base dome shelter June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The students set up the shelter as a part of the Structural Contingency Course lesson plan. They tore down the shelter earlier and returned it to operational status the same day. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Airman 1st Class Chauncy Williams, 49th Material Maintenance Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Shawn Cullen, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, attach door fabric tensioning straps to their ratchets in the setting up of a BEAR Base dome shelter June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The students set up the shelter as a part of the Structural Contingency Course lesson plan. They tore down the shelter earlier and returned it to operational status the same day. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Airman 1st Class Jeremiah Perish from the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, a student in the new Structural Contingency Course, uses a Purlin installation tube to help pull fabric over the roof frame of the BEAR Base dome shelter June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The fabric has a weather flap on its end which hangs free and can get caught as its being pulled into position. The tube is used to bump the fabric as it?s pulled so it doesn?t get caught. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Airman 1st Class Jeremiah Perish from the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, a student in the new Structural Contingency Course, uses a Purlin installation tube to help pull fabric over the roof frame of the BEAR Base dome shelter June 3 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The fabric has a weather flap on its end which hangs free and can get caught as its being pulled into position. The tube is used to bump the fabric as it's pulled so it doesn't get caught. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Airman 1st Class Karla Jiminez and Staff Sgt. Shawn Cullen, both from the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, use a Tirfor and cable assemblies to pull fabric into position on a BEAR Base dome shelter as a part of the Structural Contingency Course at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. June 3. Meanwhile, another student uses a Purlin installation tube to guide the fabric over the roof frame of the shelter and ensure it does not get caught. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

Airman 1st Class Karla Jiminez and Staff Sgt. Shawn Cullen, both from the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron, use a Tirfor and cable assemblies to pull fabric into position on a BEAR Base dome shelter as a part of the Structural Contingency Course at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. June 3. Meanwhile, another student uses a Purlin installation tube to guide the fabric over the roof frame of the shelter and ensure it does not get caught. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sondra M. Wieseler)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- They say knowledge is power, but sometimes knowledge is everything.

Within the 49th Materiel Maintenance Group is a flight of six Airmen who devote their time to ensuring troops receive the proper knowledge and training to do their job both here and more importantly, in a deployed location. They are called the Military Training Flight.

The MTF, made up of four instructors and two training managers, has been training Airmen, mainly civil engineers, for years and now they are adding a new Air Education and Training Command (AETC) 10-day course to their list titled Structural Contingency.

This course was developed by the Air Education and Training Command after noticing that a lot of civil engineer Airmen were lacking some necessary skills while deployed.

"This training is something that was identified about three years ago at an Air Force civil engineer conference - specifically that civil engineer troops deploying to the area of responsibility did not having the skill set needed," said Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Pease. "We have been working in conjunction with AETC for the last 24 to 30 months to get this course up and running."

Two sergeants from Gulfport Naval Construction Battalion Center, Miss., Tech. Sgt. Chad Alderson and Staff Sgt. Michael Klemm, have traveled from their home station to Holloman to join the Military Training Flight to help instruct this new course, among other courses.

This training, specifically for Civil Engineer Structures troops, teaches the skills necessary to inspect, repair and maintain both large contingency structures and roll-up doors. The course also instructs students in expedient locksmithing techniques for cipher locks and contingency safe entry.

"Not only will the students receive the necessary classroom instruction, they get the hands-on training which is what I think is more beneficial for most people," said Tech. Sgt. David Frollo, one of the instructors with the MTF.

"Most of what we are teaching here in class is rarely performed in the states," said Sgt. Alderson. "These are expedient methods, installation and repair practices for when structure troops are in the field because you can't just call up locksmiths or roll up door experts. This is just general information for common problems our troops see while deployed."

"They are going over there with the knowledge on how to work on these things already and they're not having to do on-the-job training," said Chief Pease. "They're going over their trained."

Although the course is not mandatory, some troops may find a little extra motivation to enroll in the form of college credits.

"Once the course validation process is complete, the students earn three credits towards their Community College of the Air Force degree," stated Sergeant Frollo.

The first Structural Contingency Course taught at Holloman began June 2, but training has always been taking place on Basic Expeditionary Airbase Resources Base (BEAR Base).

It is not unlikely that while visiting BEAR Base, one will notice a group of Airmen working in the New Mexico heat to set up one of the many deployable shelters. This has traditionally been informal training that many 49 MMG Airmen receive prior to deployment.

"A lot of the shelter training is in-house training for our troops who are about to deploy," said Sergeant Frollo. "This is basically just to prepare our guys for possible taskings during upcoming deployments."

Another course conducted by the MTF and the AETC instructors is the Mobile Training Team (MTT) BEAR Base Structures Erection course. The instructors travel wherever they're needed to perform the training on BEAR assets shipped to the hosting base.

"We have conducted classes in nearly every (major command)," said Sergeant Frollo. "We've gone to Germany, Japan, Hawaii, Alaska, and all over the continental United States conducting classes at the request of the host base."

The course covers shelter erection, disassembly and repacking procedures for four different common BEAR shelters in four days. It begins in a classroom with a workbook where students are taught the basics and later that day, they go out and actually set up a shelter.

It is a four-day formal AETC course and upon completion makes up one credit towards a CCAF degree. The unique thing about this course is that it's open to any Air Force Specialty Code, meaning anyone can take it.

"It's good for everyone to know these shelters since when you're in the desert you'll probably be sleeping or working in one of these," said Sergeant Frollo. "It's also important for troops from other AFSCs to know these shelters because you never know when you may find yourself tasked to help out. There are only so many civil engineering troops to go around."

With today's increase in deployment, and with Airmen often being tasked to do something other than their primary duty, training is essential to meet the mission, but it can often times be overlooked. Holloman is home to the six-man shop that has proven their devotion for their troops and it is no question why AETC has chosen Holloman to base this new course.

"Even though it is an AETC course, we are the experts so they decided to base it out here with the experts, which are our trainers," said Chief Pease. "We've got the best trainers in the Air Force right here."
The use of the name or mark of any specific manufacturer, commercial product, commodity or service does not imply endorsement by the Air Force.