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New squadron activates within the 37th Training Wing

  • Published
  • By Christa D'Andrea
  • 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The 37th Training Group here gained an additional squadron following an activation ceremony at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Aug. 1.

One year ago the 37th Training Wing took responsibility of the Aerospace Physiology mission from the 711th Human Performance Wing, which initiated the stand up of the 344th Training Squadron’s Detachment 2.

The 342 TRS was first activated April 30, 1976, as part of the U.S. Air Force School of Applied Aerospace Sciences here at Lackland until its inactivation July 30, 2016.

Today, the 342 TRS is one of six squadrons in the 37 TRG which is responsible for professional and technical training for more than 36,000 personnel yearly. The squadron, commanded by Lt. Col. Christianne Opresko, is home to the aerospace physiology technical school for officers and technicians, providing initial and refresher training for all aircrew, and acceleration training for all fighter aircrew.

The 342 TRS provides training to 68 agencies, 24 states, and 40 countries, averaging about 2,100 students each year. Students include prior and non-prior service, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Department of Defense civilians, and international students.

“It is an indescribable honor to be the first commander of this squadron,” Opresko said. “The Airmen who work in the 342 are top tier. They instruct, mentor, and graduate students daily who will immediately contribute to the Air Force. Each member of this unit is highly motivated and take pride in how their efforts immediately affect the force. I am truly humbled to be their commander.”

The 342 TRS training covers classroom academics and hands-on training with two training altitude chambers, the Department of Defense’s only centrifuge, and a reduced oxygen breathing device. The centrifuge serves two purposes – to test future fighter aircrews’ ability to endure high gravitational forces and to research the effect of high gravitational force on human physiology, with the research mission accomplished by the 711th HPW.

The 12th Operations Support Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, also has an aerospace physiology training program.

The 37th Training Group has four geographically separated units which are located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Gregg-Adams, Va.; Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio; and Port Hueneme, Calif. The group is responsible for instructing 25 officer and enlisted Air Force Specialty Codes and teaching more than 130 courses.