WICHITA, Kan. - The 184th Intelligence Wing held a rodeo during
drill weekend in March 2015, but it wasn't the kind with cowboy boots and
eight-second clocks. It was a one-stop training “rodeo” that helped
Airmen gain skills in first aid and chemical/biological protection
practices to ensure they are deployment ready.
“It's to get
everyone warfighter ready, and this meets all the requirements that
we don't do on computer-based training,” said Master Sgt. Brian
Castillo, 177th Information Aggressor Squadron. “We actually have a
hands-on portion where everyone is required to do a little bit on
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chris Schulte, volunteer instructor, 134th Air Control Squadron, teaches Airmen how to identify, cordon and secure unexploded ordinance during the ESR
on March 7, 2015. The UXO training was one of many stations Airmen learned deployment and expeditionary skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Lauren
The new training style is mandated by the National
Guard Bureau and the organizers of the rodeo tried to make
the experience as valuable as possible for the participants.
The training was conducted at stations in two different
Airmen would spend about 15 minutes at
each station, where they watched a short video or
PowerPoint, saw a demonstration on the station's subject and
then got some hands-on training with the equipment.
that you can get hands-on is worth more money than having
someone sit at their desk clicking through computer-based
training,” said Command Chief Master Sgt. William Stacey,
184th command chief. “The stations worked really well and
the instructors did a great job.”
Airmen saw the
“The classes are really detailed
in the orientation of what we have to do,” said Master Sgt.
John Bogart, Civil Engineer Squadron. “They are going
through the very basics with the slides and then they are
doing the hands-on portion with the troops. It is a really
The rodeo met the requirements of
eight different training subjects in a four-and-a-half hour
time period. The block of time took all morning to complete,
but saved each Airman approximately five hours of additional
“It is time-consuming, but doing it all in
one group instead of doing it from a shop-by-shop basis is
better,” said Bogart, “especially being hands-on, because it
really gets everyone involved with the training.”
Volunteers from across the wing pitched in to make this
“We have instructors from
everywhere,” said Castillo. “They are from the 134th Air
Control Squadron, Civil Engineer Squadron, the Medical
Group, Security Forces Squadron, 161st Intelligence
Squadron, the 177th Information Aggressor Squadron –
basically, it is a lot of volunteers from across the wing.”
The entire focus of the training rodeo was getting the
Airmen of the 184th IW ready to deploy at a moment's notice.
Readiness is a top priority for Stacey and the wing.
“One of my focus points is readiness, and having all of
this training done together allows us to be more relevant
and mission ready,” said Stacey.
Organizers of the
rodeo were extremely happy with how the training went and
also heard feedback from participants.
gotten nothing but positive reviews,” said Castillo. “They
love the way that it was compressed, it saved time and still
met all the requirements for the hands-on training. Our goal
is to provide the best training in the Air National Guard,
and to tell you the truth, we are already headed there.”
By U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Matthew Lucht
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