An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

82d TRW launches deep dive into Wartime Training Plan

  • Published
  • By George Woodward
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

The 82nd Training Wing held an initial tabletop discussion Feb. 8 to kick off an in-depth look at how it would implement its Wartime Training Plan in the event of high-attrition wartime demands.

“We have three training groups, 1,000 courses and 73 training pathways in the wing,” said Col. Kirk Peterson, 82 TRW deputy commander, “so this is an extremely complex challenge. The purpose of today’s tabletop was to get all the key players in one room to start thinking through it.”

The scenario presented was an additional annual training requirement of 4,500 personnel, including 1,800 enlisted aircraft maintainers, 1,800 civil engineers and 900 aircraft maintenance officers.

Basic logistics was the first consideration – how the wing would feed, house, protect, care for and support the additional trainees.

“Right off the bat, you have to take into consideration that a lot of the military members in the Mission Support Group are going to be forward deployed,” said Col. John Hollister, 82nd Mission Support Group commander. “We’d have to lean heavily on our civilian Airmen.”

Some of the initial questions raised just on the subject of housing Airmen highlight the complexity of the challenge. How many dorm rooms do we have? How many could we triple bunk? Do we have enough mattresses?

“Then you have to consider that a lot of the services on base are provided by contract, like the dining facilities and linen exchange. Increasing throughput means contract modifications and additional funding,” Hollister said.

Additional challenges were noted on the medical front.

“We may have members who will deploy,” said 82nd Medical Group Commander Col. Sarah Evans. “If that happens we may either have to rely on augmentation of our staff from other bases, or divert care of our non-active-duty population who require more extensive care to off-base services.

“We also have to consider the vital support we provide to our mission partners,” she said, “especially the 80th Flying Training Wing, which relies on our flight docs to meet its mission requirements – which is critical not only to our Air Force but to our NATO partners.”

The discussion included dozens of other small but critical details, from issuing Common Access Cards to processing orders to managing gate traffic – all before the conversation even started on the core training task itself.

“When it comes to surging technical training, the devil is in the details,” said Peterson. “Okay, we get tasked with training an additional 1,800 maintainers and 1,800 engineers. But what specific kinds of maintainers and engineers? How many in each specialty? Every pathway has its own unique challenges to consider.”

Instructor availability will be a key limiting factor, Peterson stressed. Given their skillsets, they are likely to be in high demand and the wing can expect that many are likely to be deployed. Some Military Training Leaders may also be sent to the fight in their core specialties.

“It’s reasonable to assume that the pathways in high demand for a training surge are where we’re going to see instructors deployed,” he said. “So we have to think through how to compensate. Can we cross-utilize instructors from lower-demand pathways to augment the ones in high demand? Will we need to request MTLs from other tech training wings whose pathways are seeing less attrition to take care of our students? And this is just scratching the surface. We need to think about classroom space, trainer availability, equipment and consumable sustainment, and a hundred more details.”

The next step in exercising the wing’s Wartime Training Plan is to execute a series of “mini exercises,” Peterson said.

“The reality is that every one of the 70-plus pathways we teach needs to conduct its own exercise to identify limiting factors, consider potential solutions and institute appropriate plans,” he said. “Same on the support side. Then we can come together for a more robust tabletop that leverages very specific assumptions and inputs. It’s a complex challenge, so it will take time – but it’s absolutely critical to our ability to conduct our wartime mission.”

More than 100 commanders, senior enlisted leaders, staff agency chiefs and subject-matter experts participated in the tabletop and were tasked with taking the conversation deeper into to their specific aspects of the wartime plan.