Shaw AFB leads the way with MCA

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Steven Cardo
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Shaw Air Force Base held a multi-capable Airman training course Oct. 16-20, aimed at preparing Airmen with the skills necessary to conduct tasks outside of their primary duties. 

The MCA course provided 20th Fighter Wing Airmen of various ranks from career fields such as maintenance, civil engineering and administrative services, a thorough training in support of the Agile Combat Employment model. This training is necessary as the Air Force moves toward employing smaller teams that are able to perform a wider range of duties with limited resources in contested locations worldwide. 

“The wing saw a need for us to get after the multi-capable Airman program, so we started compiling the necessary knowledge, skill sets and tools and developed a course from it,” said Tech. Sgt. Cody Johnson, 20th Security Forces Squadron trainer and MCA cadre. “As students came through, we saw a need for a longer course that incorporated more tasks and expeditionary skills. We’re teaching them how to ‘shoot, move and communicate,’ establish defensive fighting positions, tactical combat casualty care along with a stress test and other things of that nature. With each class that comes through, even with each day being rigorous in nature, the students’ feedback is that they want it to be longer. They definitely want to start pushing themselves even more than we are pushing them.” 
The MCA course challenged Airmen to push themselves beyond the expectations of their primary roles, test their leadership abilities and complete mission requirements under stressful circumstances in order to build a more agile and lethal force capable of doing more with less. 
“It was a really complex training spread over five days and in this short time we learned what it meant to be a multi-capable Airman,” said Capt. Agnieszka Gaertner, 20th FW Legal Office chief of military justice and MCA trainee. “We learned M4 rifle fundamentals, combat formations and how to care for wounded in the battlefield. It has helped me a lot to improve as a leader. I led a squadron consisting of 16 Airmen and together we learned how to work as a team and to be good followers and leaders, building the fundamentals of warfighting.” 
The 20th FW currently conducts the longest MCA training across Air Combat Command and aims to expand the course to include a more thorough academic curriculum and immersive training environment. MCA trainers within ACC are working closely together to compare results and develop a stronger course to implement across the wider Air Force, paving the way forward to a more agile and lethal military force. 

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