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Training ensures reservists ready to go

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFPN -- Air Force Space Command reservists tested a common training assembly concept here April 22 and 23 to ensure nearly 350 individual mobilization augmentees were trained and ready for mobilization.

Reservists need to be trained at the same level as their active-duty counterparts. While active-duty Airmen have all year to meet their ancillary training requirements, the reservists must accomplish their requirements while either during annual tour or periods of inactive duty training.

Since the reservists often cannot complete these requirements, AFSPC officials decided to remedy the problem with the new concept.

With the training assemblies, ancillary training is combined into four opportunities yearly versus 700 augmentees attempting to individually arrange their training. Gen. Lance W. Lord, commander of Air Force Space Command, directed all AFSPC augmentees to attend one training assembly annually.

The training here included briefings and hands-on training. It also provided Reserve program benefit updates and time for reservists to get annually required medical and dental assessments.

“The CTA was very informative and well organized,” said Master Sgt. Tamara Davis, an augmentee assigned to the 21st Services Squadron. “The ancillary training was an excellent refresher for me.”

After completing this training, the reservists report for duty better prepared to serve alongside their active-duty colleagues, officials said.

As with any conference or large gathering, networking is a side benefit. Augmentees are individually assigned to an active-duty unit which explains a common expression often made by them, “I am alone.” The networking that goes on at a training assembly shows an augmentee that he or she is truly part of a larger group.

“I do not feel ‘alone’ at all,” Sergeant Davis said.

The concept resulted from a trend identified after Sept. 11, 2001. Several thousand IMA reservists were mobilized. Pre-mobilization readiness rates were found to be unsatisfactory.

“CTAs are the way of the future to improve IMA readiness,” said Maj. Gen. Marvin J. Barry, mobilization assistant to the Air Force Reserve chief.