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Seasoning training helps Reservists stay mission-ready

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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Skyler McCloyn, 307th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron load crew member, reviews his checklist after loading a GBU-12 laser guided bomb on a Conventional Rotary Launcher in the bomb bay of a B-52 Stratofortress at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Aug. 20, 2019. The munitions would be launched from a CRL for the first time during a test flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Steele)

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U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph Little, 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron commander, inspects an inert, GBU-12 laser guided bomb on a B-52 Stratofortress, at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, Aug. 21, 2019 It was the first time this type of munition was launched operationally from the CRL. Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 307th Maintenance Squadron and 307th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron prepared and loaded the munitions for testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Reserve Citizen Airmen must be mission ready and trained to the same standard as their active duty counterparts which is facilitated by the seasoning training program that helps Reservists to meet their initial mobilization requirement and skill level.

The Air Force Reserve Command’s seasoning training program started in 2006 to train officers and enlisted personnel to the level that qualifies them to meet their mobilization ready qualification. Since then, there have been program modifications with the most significant occurrence in 2013 during sequestration.

“Due to stringent budgetary constraints, the program was reengineered for fiscal year 2014 implementation,” said Richard Glosser, AFRC chief of Education and Training Operations and Support Branch. “The approved result was the creation of seasoning training program 1 and seasoning training program 2 along with the separation of seasoning training and sanctioned progression tours. Progression tours which are traditionally used in the rated community, are continuous training orders which contain its own type of seasoning training or mission qualification training.”

Though similar in many ways, there are differences between seasoning training program 1 and seasoning training program 2. Seasoning training program 1 uses a listing approved by the AFRC commander of eligible skills and seasoning training program 2 includes all other skills not covered by seasoning training program 1, which is managed at the local level.

These differences allow commanders additional flexibility to meet their mobilization and training requirements.

“All Reservists, especially those in upgrade training, have tremendous challenges with limited availability on station to devote to skill training,” Glosser said. “In the past, it would normally take two to three years or longer to achieve the required 5-skill level qualification through scheduled monthly unit training assemblies and annual tours. Today, Reservists are encouraged to participate when available to use seasoning training program’s full-time training program to achieve this same qualification in a fraction of the time.”

“Since 2006 and the original concept of accelerating deployment availability, the seasoning training program continues to be a driving force behind expediting core task skill training with an end result being a highly trained, mission-qualified deployable Reserve Citizen Airman,” he said.