726th expands deployment readiness with tactical skill sets
By Senior Airman Dylan Okada, 726th Air Control Squadron
/ Published March 17, 2021
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The 726th Air Control Squadron has concluded its inaugural two week Deployment Initial Readiness Training (DIRT) Course. The 20-student DIRT Course educates newer Control and Reporting Center (CRC) Airmen with the necessary skills and knowledge to become deployment-ready at a moment’s notice. The DIRT Course is intended to supplement deployment training (Field craft Training for the Hostile Environment, Combat Skills Training, etc.) and introduce Airmen to deployment expectations.
Week one of the DIRT Course focuses on teaching Airmen the mission of the 726th ACS: to be prepared to support global contingency operations within 72 hours. The squadron is home to 27 Air Force Specialty Codes, it can be overwhelming for Airmen to understand how they all work together; so subject matter experts brief their equipment and detail what their role is in the CRC.
During this week, Airmen also get qualified to drive the M1083 five ton Medium Tactical Vehicle. After sitting through a one day classroom portion, Airmen convoy through Idaho to build their drive time hours.
“Driving off base was great,” one of the students said. “It was nice to see Idaho in a different light.”
The M1083 is one of the most important vehicles utilized by the 726 ACS, so it’s essential to get as many Airmen as possible qualified to drive it and prepared for convoy operations.
The second week of the DIRT Course focuses on the expeditionary skills needed to deploy. Airmen get to see the deployment process from the moment a Warning Order or Deployment Order is dropped, to building an increment and getting it airworthy to send downrange. Airmen also learn site preparation skills: building tents, creating a ground delta, installing concertina wire and setting up camouflage netting.
With the support of the 366th Security Forces Squadron, Airmen participated in field training, familiarized themselves with their service weapons, learned how to clear buildings and conducted mounted operations.
“The security forces days were the best. The instructors were engaging and prepared and it seemed like they were also having fun with us,” another student said.
All of these core preparations increase the combat ability of the 726th ACS’s warriors, honing them into a cohesive force ready to take the fight anywhere, anytime. The DIRT Course brings to reality the 726th ACS’s motto “PREPARED TO GO”!