725th AMS conducts first local MCA training

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Emma Quirk
  • 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing
The 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing Airmen assigned to the 725th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS), a tenant unit of Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, Spain, completed their first iteration of multi-capable airman (MCA) training Feb. 11, 2022.

Airmen across the 725th AMS participated in a weeklong familiarization of new tasks using real equipment as well as virtual reality training tools.

According to the Air Force Doctrine Note 1-21 – Agile Combat Employment (ACE) released in December 2021, MCA are capable of accomplishing tasks outside of their core Air Force specialty code. Specifically, these personnel are often trained as a cross-functional team to provide combat support and combat service support to ACE force elements. They are enabled by cross-utilization training and can operate independently in an expeditionary environment to accomplish mission objectives within acceptable levels of risk.

One of the first Airmen to beta test the MCA training program was Staff Sgt. Reynaldo Guevarra, 725th AMS aerospace ground equipment (AGE) craftsman. His daily duty is to maintain and repair generators, air conditioners, hydraulic pressuring units, nitrogen carts, turbine compressors, and various equipment types utilized to conduct aircraft maintenance for all of Department of Defense transient aircraft traveling through NAVSTA Rota.
During MCA training, Guevarra learned and performed basic aircraft maintenance tasks including marshaling aircraft, aircraft refueling, and aircraft tire serviceability inspections.

“Learning aircraft maintenance duties helped me grow as a maintainer and as an overall [non-commissioned officer].” Guevarra added, “I now have the skills and dual qualifications to not only serve in my normal capacity but also augment aircraft generation.”

As a result of the training, Guevarra better understands the impacts of other air force specialty codes as they all work toward the common goal of “putting birds in the air.”

Another beta test trainee was Senior Airman Howard Johnson, 725th AMS crew chief. His normal duties are to service the C-17 Globemaster III. This includes performing both scheduled and unscheduled aircraft maintenance, troubleshooting the aircraft system, and servicing and inspecting AMC aircraft transiting through Europe and Africa theaters.

During the training, he learned standard AGE duties from Technical Sgt. William Zelaya, 725th AMS AGE training lead. Johnson also performed service inspections on aircraft external power carts and flight line dispatch of various AGE equipment.
When asked about the impact of the training, Johnson echoed Gueverra’s sentiment that he also better understands the duties of other maintenance career fields and how they affect one another.
Johnson added that, “this training will allow the squadron to fill voids swiftly knowing the job will be handled correctly.”

The squadron’s program was initiated by Tech. Sgt. Ozzie Slawnikowski, 725th AMS crew chief non-commissioned officer in charge. As the lead developer of the program, Slawnikowski partnered with Zelaya to equip members with the expertise needed to fulfill taskings in the European, Central and Africa areas of responsibilities.

“I encourage my troops to ‘do big things,’” Slawnikowski exclaimed. “My hopes are to inspire other Airman to step up and not be afraid to get out of their comfort zone.”

An important part of the early development of any new initiative is two-way feedback. Both Slawnikowski and Zelaya commented on the positive feedback and excitement of the trainees.
Moving forward, both are prepared to re-attack the training and tailor it to meet the needs of each trainee in order to sharpen the program to use the members’ time effectively.

In the following months, the MCA trainees will embed within the aircraft maintenance unit and AGE flight for multiple days to refine their competency.

“It was awesome watching Guevarra smile after launching his first jet knowing he directly generated that mission,” Slawnikowski shared as he reflected on the first week. “I am proud to create a lasting program that connects our Airmen to Department of the Air Force level efforts. This training offers them a chance to step out of their normal day-to-day duties and see a different side of operations,”
An MCA is critical to enabling ACE, which is a proactive and reactive operational scheme of maneuver designed to address the challenges of projecting combat power across the globe with a significantly reduced global footprint, increased risk from adversarial technological advances, and fiscal and political constraints.

“Multi-capable airmen training maximizes the potential of our members and teams,” said Lt. Col. Michael Slaughter, 725th AMS commander. “It’s essential that 725th Air Mobility Squadron Airmen are prepared to execute certain tasks that make our unit more agile and versatile for the needs of the mission.”

The 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is an Air Mobility Command unit. The wing’s nodes span across 19 locations to provide aircraft maintenance, aerial port operations, command and control, expeditionary aircrew support, and aeromedical evacuation to ensure rapid global mobility for three overseas areas of responsibility.