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366th CES virtual staff ride prepares multi-capable Gunfighters

Airmen sit in a room and look at a screen. They are sitting in on a virtual staff ride.

Airmen sit in on a virtual staff ride on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, Jan. 21, 2020. The staff ride is part of an initiative to create multi-capable Gunfighters; making the 366th Fighter Wing a more agile force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Andrea Rozoto)

Airmen sit in a room and look at a screen. They are sitting in on a virtual staff ride.

Airmen learn about the battle of Chipyong-Ni on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, Jan. 21, 2020. The 366th Civil Engineer Squadron held a virtual staff ride to build multi-capable Airmen; teaching them about military strategy, tactics and operations . (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Andrea Rozoto)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --

“To be a successful soldier, you must know history,” -General George Patton Jr.

As threats continue to evolve, adaptation means more than expanding our military presence. Airmen are familiarizing themselves with different specialties, allowing them to become true multi-capable Airmen (MCA).

The idea of MCA began when Air Force leadership decided to make a shift in culture. Leaders recognized the changing nature of warfare, and began integrating the idea. In order to become more agile, Gunfighters need a fundamental knowledge of not just their jobs, but military strategy, tactics and operations.

The 366th Civil Engineer Squadron began incorporating these ideas through a virtual staff ride, Jan. 20 - 21, 2021. A staff ride provides case studies in the Principles of War, shows the effects that different terrains have on a battle and shows the human dimension of battle.

This virtual staff ride covered the leadership aspect of the Korean War.

“The battle of Chipyong-Ni was pivotal in the Korean War,” said 1st Lt. Ronald Diaz-Cataldo Ramos, 366 CES engineering flight deputy commander. “The U.S. was facing what seemed like defeat by an overwhelmingly large army, and after demonstrating what we were capable of during that battle, the U.S. was able to demoralize its adversaries and make them retreat.”

Gunfighters were given detailed insights on how the decision making unfolded; allowing them to take their knowledge back to their units and continue training MCA.

“Meeting our readiness needs starts by leaders understanding what we might face; only then will they be able to train troops to overcome any obstacle and ultimately win,” Ramos said.

The virtual staff ride was vital for Airmen to understand the different aspects of battle and how it could apply to battle today.

“Relying on experience alone will have sub-par results,” said Master Sgt. Russell Smith, 366th CES engineering superintendent. “Combining experience with the knowledge of history, we are destined to mitigate failure and obtain mission success.”

The term “multi-capable Airmen” has evolved from a phrase, to a mindset that many Gunfighters have proudly adopted.

“Instead of our Airmen being ‘a jack of all trades, master of none’, our Airmen are ‘Jack of all trades while being a master of one,” Ramos said.

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