Trimming training time: 31 MXG saves man-hours

Airmen from the 31st Maintenance Group participate in a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosives defense survival skills class at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. The class was part of a larger Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event which condensed 16 hours of training into 6.6 hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Airmen from the 31st Maintenance Group participate in a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosives defense survival skills class at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. The class was part of a larger Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event which condensed 16 hours of training into 6.6 hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Master Sgt. James DeBiase, 31st Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Response Operations section chief, observes Airman 1st Class Shawn Maseberg, 31st Munitions Squadron Precision Guided Munitions crewmember, donning his mission-oriented protective postures gear at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. Maseberg attended an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event which condensed 16 hours of training into 6.6 hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Master Sgt. James DeBiase, 31st Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Response Operations section chief, observes Airman 1st Class Shawn Maseberg, 31st Munitions Squadron Precision Guided Munitions crewmember, donning his mission-oriented protective postures gear at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. Maseberg attended an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event which condensed 16 hours of training into 6.6 hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Airmen from the 31st Maintenance Group practice covering and labeling equipment that was simulated contaminated by a hazardous substance during an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. The exercise was part of a larger Expeditionary Skills Rodeo which condensed 16 hours of training into 6.6 hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Airmen from the 31st Maintenance Group practice covering and labeling equipment that was simulated contaminated by a hazardous substance during an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. The exercise was part of a larger Expeditionary Skills Rodeo which condensed 16 hours of training into 6.6 hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Master Sgt. Kelly Crouse, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent, dons his mission-oriented protective postures gear during an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017.  Implementing similar events throughout the entire 31st Maintenance Group could save 12,220 man-hours over a three-year period. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Master Sgt. Kelly Crouse, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent, dons his mission-oriented protective postures gear during an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. Implementing similar events throughout the entire 31st Maintenance Group could save 12,220 man-hours over a three-year period. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Tech. Sgt. Kevin Spranger, 31st Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management plans and operations NCO in charge, instructs Airmen from the 31st Maintenance Group during an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. Spranger hosted a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosives defense survival skills course during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Tech. Sgt. Kevin Spranger, 31st Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management plans and operations NCO in charge, instructs Airmen from the 31st Maintenance Group during an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. Spranger hosted a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosives defense survival skills course during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

An Airman, participating in an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event, places a sign on a vehicle at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. During the event, Airmen participated in 12 different courses which certified them for the next three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

An Airman, participating in an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event, places a sign on a vehicle at Aviano Air Base, Italy on Jan. 6, 2017. During the event, Airmen participated in 12 different courses which certified them for the next three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

On Jan. 6, 2017, 228 31st MXG Airmen were the first to experience a new training program to consolidate approximately 16 hours of training into 6.6 hours. The Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event. Throughout the event credited Airmen in 12 separate courses, certifying them for the next three years. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

On Jan. 6, 2017, 228 31st MXG Airmen were the first to experience a new training program to consolidate approximately 16 hours of training into 6.6 hours. The Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event. Throughout the event credited Airmen in 12 separate courses, certifying them for the next three years. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

For as long as many of today’s Airmen can remember, they’ve been inundated with redundant computer-based and hands-on training requirements. So in August 2016, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein announced plans to lessen training requirements to give Airmen more time to focus on the mission.

 

Once guidance was released, 31st Maintenance Group leaders and training management section personnel began developing an Ancillary and Expeditionary Skills Training program. The program combines several computer-based and individual training courses to save man-hours.

 

On Jan. 6, 2017, 228 31st MXG Airmen were the first to experience this training program in an Expeditionary Skills Rodeo event. Throughout the day, Airmen were credited in 12 separate courses, certifying them for the next three years and ensuring they’re deployment ready.

 

“The mass concept for training works very well for a high-tempo maintenance group,” said Wade. “We have to be ready to pack up and hit the door within a moment's notice. Having the training piece already taken care of is a critical element to have a mission ready force."

 

The mass training concept is nothing new; however, Aviano Air Base is the first active duty Air Force installation to implement a mass training event geared towards deploying personnel.

 

 “The overall goal of this training program is to give Airmen their time back so they can focus on the mission,” said Senior Master Sgt. Shonita Wade, 31st MXG training management section supervisor. “As Airmen, we’ve clicked through computer-based training courses and experienced the non-value added information. We’re aiming to cut that from the equation while making sure Airmen receive quality information and retain it.”

 

The 12 courses would previously take an Airman approximately 16 hours to complete behind a computer screen. During the event, it took the same Airman only 6.6 hours, saving the 228-person group more than 2,143 man-hours.

 

“It’s important that we’re still meeting the requirements for each course as well as making sure it’s not redundant,” said Wade. “The last thing we want to do is waste time by not providing quality trainings that won’t be retained.”

 

After the event, Wade and the training management section began working to replace other unnecessary portions with value-added content.

 

“We’ve already begun the process of thinking, ‘How can this be applied to other CBTs and training?’” said Wade. “Because most of these trainings are hands-on, the instructors keep the Airmen engaged.”

 

Implementing the ESR throughout the entire 31st MXG will save 12,200 man-hours over a three-year period. Implementation across the 31st Fighter Wing could save approximately 32,900 man-hours over a three-year period.

 

Wade and Master Sgt. Sterling Amos’, 31st Maintenance Group training management section NCO in charge, vision is for the program to be adopted across and beyond Aviano.

 

“There’s no doubt in my mind that this program will be implemented group- and wing-wide,” said Amos. “Critiquing and applying it to other Air Force installations would be the next step after a few months.”

 

The 31st MXG will be hosting another ESR in February 2017.