Beale AFB pilots new Multi-Capable Airman course

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Juliana Londono
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Beale Air Force Base recently piloted its first Multi-Capable Airman course, with members from career fields across the 9th Reconnaissance Wing participating Oct. 16–27.

Wing leadership directed the course's creation to support the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment concept. ACE requires the expedient movement of personnel and equipment to support the recovery, refueling, and launching of assets with a smaller footprint.

The intent of the course is to develop Airmen who are proficient in their primary AFSC by equipping them with expeditionary skills and training which they can employ in deployed environments or on home station if needed, according to Maj. Matthew Mays, 9th Reconnaissance Wing A4 (Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection) director.  

“Not only does this training help prepare our Airmen for successfully supporting the day-to-day mission downrange, but it also helps support the future of Agile Combat Employment operations at forward operating sites and contingency locations,” Mays said. “It is part of an Air Force initiative to move away from large-scale force packages and prepare units to operate as leaner, more agile forces within a permissive environment.”

The class was comprised of 24 students ranging from maintainers to paralegals who had prepared by completing Ready Airman Training, covering combat arms and training maintenance, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives training and other combat topics, before beginning MCA training.

Instructors considered subject matter experts in their respective fields were chosen to teach concepts necessary to qualify graduates as multi-capable Airmen. Staff Sgt. Clayton Johnson, 9th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels mobile distribution supervisor, was one of the instructors during the course.

“I was here to teach [all-terrain] forklift operations,” Johnson said. “This portion is important because when we go downrange, if we have to drive a forklift and do not have a certified forklift operator, we can still move cargo that comes in and out of aircraft.”

In the two-week course, instructors taught concepts including tactical combat casualty care, air base ground defense, aircraft familiarization and safety protocols. The course culminated in an all-day field training exercise where Airmen applied their new knowledge.

The exercise involved a small shelter system setup, entry control point setup, tactical movements and complex assault and recovery actions. Students were tasked with successfully passing every event presented to them both in the classroom and field training event to receive the MCA qualification.

The 9th RW plans to provide this course for Airmen once per quarter. Airmen who become certified in the course must also participate in at least one certifying event, such as a large-scale readiness exercise, every two years during their ready phase to retain their proficiency.

Beale has employed these concepts during exercises such as Dragon Flag East and Dragon Fang, which tested the wing’s ability to employ ACE and MCA capabilities. The new course allows Airmen to receive MCA training in a formal setting for the first time.

“Being a Multi-Capable Airman is about generating airpower,” said Chief Master Sgt. Breanna Oliver, 9th RW command chief. “We can all contribute to that no matter what our function is because at the end of the day, we need to get planes in the air. That is what we bring to the joint force.”

MCA provides a critical role in sustaining a more lethal force ready to face near-peer adversaries and efficiently execute the mission around the globe.