HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. –
Undertaking the largest modernization of Air Operations Center initial qualification training in the history of the unit, the 505th Training Squadron has reopened its doors for students to attend training.
After pausing formal student training for nearly six months, over 180 students walked through the doors of the “Gateway to the AOC” on March 28 and were greeted with updated syllabi, courseware, exercises, and a modern scenario focused on large-scale combat operations oriented to the Department of Defense’s pacing challenge.
“We are proud to welcome students back, and I’m especially proud of the men and women of the 505th Training Squadron and the efforts they undertook to make this happen on timeline,” said Lt. Col. Kari Mott, 505th TRS commander, Hurlburt Field, Florida. “Without their subject matter expertise in the AOC weapon system and joint air tasking cycle, and their dedication to seeing the project through, we would not have been able to make this happen.”
The decision to pause AOC initial qualification training for a period of six months was not taken lightly and required coordination and approval from the United States Warfare Center, Air Combat Command, and global AOCs before it could be implemented.
“We understand the difficult position we placed air components in by pausing one of our core training functions within the wing,” said Col. Adam Shelton, 505th Test and Training Group commander. “The new product the FTU has rolled out incorporates new doctrine and tactics related to agile combat employment and joint all domain operations while still focusing on the basics of operational command and control.”
The AOC FTU leveraged their assigned Australian and French exchange officers, as well as the group's British exchange officer, thereby increasing the interaction and instruction by, with, and through United States’ allies and partners.
“While the squadron always incorporated U.S. partners and allies into instruction, the break in training and the change in focus to the Pacific allowed us to make this more robust,” said Royal Australian Air Force Squadron Leader Sean Bedford, 505th TRS assistant director of operations and exchange officer. “The updated exercises now incorporate the E-7 Wedgetail and other Australian air and space capabilities to ensure U.S. and Australian graduates have a basic understanding of the operational level of war.”
The 505th Training Squadron is responsible for preparing graduates to operate the AOC weapon system, graduating more than 1,600 joint and coalition personnel annually. Additionally, the squadron teaches 13 initial qualification courses in the weapon system, including an Integrated Air and Missile Defense Course, a Joint Air Operations Center Command and Control Course, and an academic instructor course. Graduates from the 505th Training Squadron serve at the operational level of war in all combatant commands.