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Airmen Conduct Contingency Operational Readiness Training
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class John Crawford
November 7, 2018

The convoy slowly rolled through the city streets as the hot sun beat down on them. Mirages formed from the heat of the Humvee’s diesel engines, as sweat-drenched Airmen clutched their weapons. Men accosted the vehicles for food throughout the village, when suddenly, a hidden roadside bomb detonated at the front of the convoy.

A Humvee from the rear rushed up beside the disabled vehicle and began extracting the wounded, shielded between the armored vehicle doors. Once the injured crew were safe, the convoy commander notified the remaining vehicles over the radio to begin their exodus. The convoy began moving expediently to the safety of the open road away from the village.

August 4, 2018 - Vehicle operations Airmen assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing and 100th Air Refueling Wing transport simulated wounded from a simulated disabled Humvee after a simulated improvised explosive device roadside bomb at the Stanford Training Area, Suffolk, England. Airmen from the vehicle operations career field are required by their Air Force Instruction to conduct 100 hours of convoy training every two years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John A. Crawford)

This was just one of the simulated missions that vehicle operations Airmen from RAF Lakenheath’s Logistics Readiness Squadron and RAF Mildenhall’s Logistics Readiness Squadron were critiqued on during the culmination training mission of their Contingency Operational Readiness Training at the Stanford Training Area, England on August 4, 2018.

“The CORT is a requirement for our Air Force Specialty Code,” said Technical Sgt. Junyville Gianan, Vehicle operations section chief of the 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron. “The skills we have are perishable. Veterans who once drove convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan are separating or retiring, and the younger Airmen need the experience and knowledge to carry out the mission in a deployed location.”

This was the first time that the Liberty Wing and RAF Mildenhall performed the training together. It focused on convoy operations in hostile territory, simulating real-world experiences by NCOs who deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Other aspects of the course included weapons familiarization, Self-Aid and Buddy Care, and structure clearing taught by members of the 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron Deployed Aircraft Ground Response Element (DAGRE) Security Forces members.

August 4, 2018 - Vehicle operations Airmen assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing and 100th Air Refueling Wing stack up and prepare to enter a structure during a Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) training course lead by Deployed Aircraft Ground Response Element (DAGRE) Security Forces members from the 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron at the Stanford Training Area, Suffolk, England. This is the first year that vehicle operations Airmen from Royal Air Force Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall trained together in the Contingency Operational Readiness Training. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class John A. Crawford)

“Working with Lakenheath is good for several reasons,” said Technical Sgt. Monica Luna, noncommissioned officer in charge of the 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operations element. “Even though we’re just down the road, we don’t always get to see each other. We’re all 2T1’s at the end of the day so it’s a good opportunity to bond as a career field.”

Ground transportation specialist Airmen are required to complete 100 training hours every two years, split up into four training phases. In this circumstance, it is necessary for LRS members to receive weapons training, vehicle-dismount-under-fire training, and room-clearing or close-quarters-battle training. Keen weapons knowledge and building clearing procedures are critical in convoy operations in a deployed environment.

“The significance of the training provided to LRS convoy members is critical to their safety, survival, and mission success,” said the 352nd Special Operations Wing security forces chief. “It’s very likely for vehicle operators to find themselves driving through hostile environments, or a route not deemed safe to travel on.”

CORT training remains a vital aspect of ground transportation specialist training. Airmen of the 48th Fighter Wing and the 100th Air Refueling Wing can now navigate unfamiliar terrain with increased confidence to complete any job the mission may require.

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