By Airman 1st Class
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Instructors from the 373rd Training Squadron are helping student crew chiefs put textbook knowledge into practice through advanced hands-on training.
The vision of the squadron is “to provide flexible training worldwide … while promoting the highest standards of quality instruction,” according to Master Sgt. Michael Holty, a 373rd TRS communication navigation instructor.
Students go through six and a half months of academic and hands-on training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, before going to their first duty station.
“I am getting what I need to know to do what I need to do,” said Airman Joshua Mougeot, a 373rd TRS crew chief in training.
These students go through a series of courses for the C-130J including J-model familiarization, J-transition, engine courses and advanced troubleshooting courses. All courses must be completed within five to six months before Airmen can move on to their first duty station.
“For new crew chiefs, we have follow-on training, which is mission ready apprentice,” said Tech. Sgt. Chad Dunham, a 373rd TRS crew chief instructor. Students acquire their three-skill level after training, followed by J-model transition courses, he added.
After academic training and some hands-on training at Sheppard AFB, students come to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., for more hands-on training on the flightline and simulators.
“Applying the book from [tech school] into what we had to do was the hardest part, but once you got to actually do the task, then it was a lot simpler and more straightforward than thetextbook had actually displayed it to be,” said Airman Mougeot.
He said the training gained here is effective thanks to the straightforward teaching approach.
Members from the Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard come to Little Rock to train with the C-130 J model. International students from other countries including Canada, India and Poland also train here.
“Students come back a few months of leaving here to go through J-model familiarization but they learn how to apply power and do maintenance on that aircraft. It constantly changes,” said Sergeant Dunham.
Sergeant Dunham said instructors play a vital role in training.
“[The training here] provides them the skills necessary to report to their first unit and be able to do a variety of test so they are an asset to their unit,” said Sergeant Dunham.