DIRT Helps Train Multi-Capable Airmen To Deploy
by U.S. Air Force Donovan Potter, Hill
Hill’s 729th Air Control Squadron offers
Deployment Initial Readiness Training, also known as DIRT school,
designed to provide students with basic-level knowledge in a
multitude of deployment and expeditionary skillsets.
10-day course is conducted on Hill AFB, primarily in the Base
Operations Readiness Training Area, and targets newer Airman who
have never deployed.
The course curriculum includes tent
building, construction, Defensive Fighting Position, radio etiquette
and operation, convoy operations, Chemical Biological Radioactive
Nuclear Explosives, IED familiarization, weapons familiarization,
Tactical Combat Casualty Care, land navigation and squad movements.
Senior Airman Brandon Parshall, 729th Air Control Squadron,
with fellow airmen in the background set up a defensive perimeter during a Deployment Initial Readiness Training course at Hill Air Force Base, Utah
on April 14, 2023. The DIRT course focuses on convoy operations, field living, small arms skills, defensive site preparation, radio communication, and self-aid buddy care under fire, and other deployment readiness skills. (Image
created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs, Public Affairs
Master Sgt. Tyler Miller, 729th ACS Mission Support
Readiness Flight chief said this kind of training is vitally
important at this point in time.
“With all the uncertainty in
the world today, any of us may be called to deploy,” he said.
“Having at least baseline expeditionary training has the potential
to make a great deal of difference in how successful members both
perform and accomplish the mission objectives of these deployments.”
DIRT school recently doubled in length from a 5-day course to
10, so more time could be spent in each area and also so land
navigation and convoy operations could be added.
5-day course, we were unable to give the time needed to properly
instruct many of the concepts we were teaching,” Miller said. “By
adding an extra 5 days we can go more in-depth on these subjects
without rushing to maintain the compressed schedule.”
in an effort to provide the best education possible, other base
organizations have been tapped to lend expertise to the training.
Emergency Management teaches CBRN, Explosive Ordnance
technicians support IED familiarization and Survival, Evasion,
Resistance and Escape specialists instruct the land nav course.
Airman 1st Class Oliver Walton-Williams
(left) with 729th Air Control Squadron keeps lookout during a Deployment Initial Readiness Training course at Hill Air Force Base, Utah
on April 14, 2023. The DIRT course focuses on convoy operations, field living, small arms skills, defensive site preparation, radio communication, and self-aid buddy care under fire, and other deployment readiness skills.
(Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs, Public Affairs
“We have had great support from the other organizations on
base,” Miller said. “Having the support and expertise of these
organizations is invaluable to course success.”
newer Airmen who are yet to deployed, DIRT school is open to a wide
range of rank and experience levels from across the base.
“Having experienced people in the course can help better guide the
newer trainee,” Miller said. “They also add by relating personal
stories and experiences from their own deployments. Another reason
is that these skills can become perishable. Refresher training can
help these individuals stay sharp and ready to deploy.”
Being a multi-capable Airman is one of the overarching concepts of
the readiness training.
“Receiving the training we offer
through DIRT, helps make Airman more flexible and adds to their
multi-capability,” Miller said. “If they are called up to support
something that is outside of their normal career field expertise,
they will be more ready.”
Miller said he and his cadre of 10
instructors feel great satisfaction on the last day of DIRT, knowing
they had a part in giving these students memories and valuable
skills that will hopefully be with them the rest of their lives.
“My goal is for the people who complete this training to feel
like they have enough baseline deployment knowledge that they don’t
feel intimidated or lost when they deploy,” he said. “No matter what
rank or career field, at the end of the day, we are all on one team
and we all have each other’s backs.”
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