News>Officials move ROTC field training to Maxwell
Air Force ROTC cadets will participate in six days of expeditionary training at this simulated city at the Joint Force Training Center in Hattiesburg, Miss. The training is part of a new curriculum for Air Force ROTC cadets as all field training moves to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. (U.S Air Force photo/Lt. Col. Guy Parker)
2/1/2008 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFPN) -- Air Force officials here recently announced all ROTC field training is moving to Maxwell Air Force Base beginning the summer of 2008.
Last summer's ROTC schedule included three encampments here and three encampments at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., but this year will mark the first time all encampments will take place at one location.
In addition to the move, officials are revamping the training curriculum to incorporate 11 days of training at Maxwell AFB's Officer Training School, six days at Maxwell's Blue Thunder Training Complex, and six days at the Joint Force Training Center in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Instructors will conduct primarily in-class instruction at the OTS portion, but training at the Blue Thunder complex and JFTC involves extensive deployment and expeditionary training in response to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T Michael Moseley's desire to instill a strong "warrior ethos" mindset among Airmen.
"Our biggest challenge is getting airlift support to take cadets to the JFTC," said Maj. John Carros, the Air Force ROTC chief of training. "We have a commitment from the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell AFB, but we are also working with the Air Force Reserve to get additional commitments from other air mobility units."
Lt. Col. Guy Parker, the ROTC Director of Operations, said he and Army Col. Earnest Shows, the JFTC commander, are looking forward to building a long-term partnership to benefit Air Force ROTC and its training program.
Training capabilities at the JFTC include four forward operating bases, simulated Southwest Asian cities, a C-130 Hercules runway and C-17 Globemaster III assault strip, live-fire weapons ranges, convoy operation areas, a land navigation course and base defense training areas.
"We are leveraging their expertise for our cadets, and some of the most current lessons from the war can be learned at the JFTC facility," Colonel Parker said.
Other obstacles cadre members are overcoming include plans for adverse weather; medical support; and a lack of dormitory space, Major Carros said. While dormitory-expansion plans are in the works, cadre members developed overlapping encampments to provide adequate living quarters for incoming cadets. As a result, six field training classes will overlap during this summer's encampments.
The plan is a "temporary, tactical solution to a strategic problem," Colonel Parker said.
A cadre of more than 70 people will run each encampment, with O-6s filling the commander and vice commander positions. Air Force leaders said they consider the transformation as the most significant change to Air Force ROTC training in the last 60 years.