MacDill Reservists hone readiness skills in Germany
By Tech. Sgt. Peter Dean
/ Published July 24, 2017
Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany -- Citizen Airmen from the 927th Logistics Readiness Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, came here to maintain their mission ready status, July 7-23, 2017.
Unlike active duty military, traditional Reservists only have one weekend a month and two weeks a year to stay current on all training requirements to be considered deployable for worldwide taskings.
“The UTA [Unit training assembly] allows great training opportunities for us to perform our operational mission, but when we are able to be apart from the distractions at MacDill and be completely encompassed in a new and different operation, it provides a whole new level of training for our troops,” said Lt. Col. Meredith Seeley, 927th LRS, commander. “The training here is on a completely different scale, different airframes and a completely different operational mission, they have over 450 personnel operating out of 54 different buildings,”
To create a seamless force, much of the training, systems and procedures are common throughout the U.S. Air Force, however a few differences do exist. For example, aircraft fueling systems do vary depending on the country and the type of aircraft.
“At MacDill we are set up for large aircraft, wide body aircraft and Spangdahlem [AB] is setup for fighters,” said Master Sgt. Robert Rais II, 927 LRS, petroleum, oils and lubricants superintendent. “The way we deliver fuel at MacDill is with a hydrant truck, the biggest difference here at Spangdahlem is they use a hard hose, called a planogram, when deployed it is critical that we know these systems, when you’re down range there isn’t time for on the job training.”
The benefits of working and performing annual training along side their counterparts, whether it be an active duty or Reserve squadron, far exceeded just meeting training requirements; information and best practices flowed both ways.
“We have the 927 LRS from MacDill Air [Force] Base here, they are our reserve counterparts and we are blessed with their presence, said Chief Master Sgt. Leroy Newhouse, 52 LRS, chief master sergeant. “With us [52LRS] being in a manning crunch, we are still trying to meet real world missions so being here we are able to help train them [927LRS Airmen] and get them signed of on some key tasks, but they are also here to help us.”
Benefits of off station annual training, are numerous, not only do the Reservists receive valuable training and participate ongoing real-world missions they also have opportunities that take them outside the gates of the air base.
”I think being able to emerge themselves in not just the operation but the culture here also provided a real unique opportunity for or troops here,’ said Seeley. “For some of these Airmen it was their first time being outside the United State. They got to enjoy the food, the culture and learn from their counterparts on the active duty side and on the civilian side as well.”
Building strong relationships, networking, innovation and process improvement is key to any organization, and the military is no exception.
“I would defiantly request the 927LRS comeback,” said Newhouse. We’re giving you a part of who we are and what we do, you’re taking some of our continuity with you, so when you come back and based on what you learned from us you might be able to bring something back to improve our processes.