372nd DET 16 keeps Airmen trained
By Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 06, 2018
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The 372nd Training Squadron, Field Training Detachment 16 at the 48th Fighter Wing delivers continuation training to ensure maintenance Airmen can provide worldwide responsive combat airpower and support for United States Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa and the continued defense of U.S. allies.
The detachment serves as an extension of United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command, and provides maintenance technicians assigned to USAFE-AFAFRICA with a controlled, hands-on environment to hone their skills and reinforce safe practices to meet mission requirements.
“The training provided to the maintenance technicians is extremely important,” said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Stanley, 372nd TRS DET 16 F-15 Eagle avionics instructor. “Our instructors pass on their years of occupational knowledge to better prepare Airmen learning the job and skills for the first time.”
DET 16 provides a variety of classes ranging from F-15 focused classes, such as weapons, hydraulics and fuels; to supervisor familiarization and plan of instruction. Whether the courses feature a knowledge-based method of learning, or a more hands-on approach, the goal of readiness and capability improvement remains the same.
“Through our program, we’re able to take our time and train beginning, intermediate, and advanced skill level Airmen by the book,” said Master Sgt. Timothy Martinez, 372nd TRS DET 16 detachment chief. “Which equates to saved time and greater efficiency when the maintainers perform these task operationally.”
To avoid any significant impact on the 48th Fighter Wing’s daily operations, the DET provides an aircraft specifically used for training purposes, so that active aircraft aren’t pulled from mission essential priorities. The training aircraft allows DET 16 staff the flexibility to hold an F-15 engine class, which provides technicians the opportunity to break down an engine and reassemble it, giving them an up close view of the inner workings of the engine without the strain of operational deadlines for repair.
“When you are working on the flightline, there is a sense of urgency to accomplish the mission,” said a student assigned to the 372nd TRS DET 16. “What’s great about these classes is that you get hands-on experience with an actual aircraft while you learn at your own pace. This is the third class I have taken and I have always been able to use what I learned in class back on the flightline.”
To ensure efficiency, each class is reevaluated every two years to keep DET 16 staff up-to-date with the ever-evolving mission and capabilities of their students.
“Our training is created by us based on the requests, inputs, and requirements of the squadron,” Stanley said. “When the classes are created, members of the career field are included to ensure the published classes are going to be the most beneficial to the target students.”
In the past year, DET 16 held over 200 classes, racking up over 12,000 instructional hours and 682 students. Mission readiness and capability remains a vital component in executing the 48th Fighter Wing’s mission. The detachment’s effort keeps the 48th Fighter Wing’s maintainers sharp and well-trained.