Streamlined program for preparing deployers saves time, improves readiness
By 1st Lt. Justin Clark, 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 09, 2017
Joint Base Charleston, S.C. --
In order to more efficiently prepare Airmen slated for deployment in the coming months, Joint Base Charleston’s 315th Logistics Readiness Squadron tested a training program here during Unit Training Assembly, Jan. 5 and 6, 2017.
The 315th is serving as a testbed for the new Expeditionary Readiness Program, or ERP, the goal of which is to reduce the time Airmen spend in pre-deployment training by more than 50 percent while still meeting requirements to provide fully-trained and deployment-ready Airmen.
“The big takeaway is the time savings,” said Master Sgt. Brian Henderson, logistics planner with the 315th LRS. “When you give this time back to the Airmen, you see the benefits.”
The prior pre-deployment training program included multiple computer-based training modules as well as several in-person classes, which members completed over the course of several months.
This time, instead of going through the long, drawn-out deployment preparation process, Airmen attended several successive briefings and training sessions over the two-day event. As a result, the future deployers were provided nearly all the training they need during a seminar session, which spoke more specifically to the necessary information for deployment.
“It’s not watered down,” said Henderson. “They took out the information Airmen don’t need – the fluff – and left the basics.”
Additionally, briefers were given latitude to make the training more engaging, so long as it still satisfied the required objectives, which Henderson said created a better learning environment. The curriculum is based on the original CBTs, which the training is meant to supplant.
This is the second time that the 315th has beta-tested the ERP training program, having previously conducted the event in August 2016. Henderson said that Airmen had told him how the new process was considerably less time-intensive.
“Something interesting I recognized was that when I ran into folks months later, their attitude was completely different, said Henderson. “They said they’re not doing CBTs for months at a time this year, so the members are seeing the benefits of it.”
Logistically, conducting the training as a single en-masse two-day event reduces scheduling complexity, transit time for members, and provides just-in-time training prior to deployments, rather than conducting it in pieces over several months. Collectively, the new process saves hundreds of man-days over the traditional pre-deployment process.
Henderson pointed out that the training replaces over 90 percent of the CBT training that pre-deployers had to complete, but some training, such as firearms qualification and regional language training would have to be delivered separately.
The goals of the ERP model are to reduce the training timeline for Air Force Reserve units while still meeting the quality standards needed for deployers, and to provide implementable and scalable training to Air Force Reserve units.