Airmen and Soldiers team-up for tactical vehicle training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Sarah Watson-Kirwin
  • Mass. National Guard Headquarters - Public Affairs

For the first time, the Massachusetts Army Guard is training the Massachusetts Air Guard on the maintenance and operation of the Light/Medium Tactical Vehicle. Air Force Col. Eric Pauer, Director of Logistics and Engineering- Air, Massachusetts National Guard, Joint Force Headquarters, saw a need to train Airmen on the LMTVs and created a solution by establishing a course for Airmen, led by Soldiers.   

"The high operations tempo has kept our soldiers busy, and it has been intermittent as to whether we have enough soldiers to operate the light/medium tactical vehicles stateside," said Pauer.  "We wanted to train Airmen on the LMTVs to be ready for domestic operations."

The first class took place Aug. 4-8 and was quickly followed by another class from Aug. 11-15.  The class curriculum was organized and taught by the Massachusetts Army National Guard 1166th Transportation Company.

The 1166th led a group of seven Airmen from the Massachusetts Air National Guard through the inaugural class, and twelve more Airmen were trained during the second week.  The class covered paperwork, preventative maintenance checks, driving on the road, driving off road, practicing driving skills, driving at night, and changing a tire.      

"I think it is great that the soldiers took time off from work to help with the course," said Army Sgt. 1st Class John Desrosiers, 1166th Transportation Company. "The Airmen have been doing a great job.  I am impressed with their motivation and interest in the material." Air Force 1st Lt. Andrew Bonney was one of two officers from the 102nd Medical Group taking the course.     

"The course enhances our ability to support domestic operations and improves our familiarity with the Army's vehicles for the joint environment," said Bonney. He was impressed with the 1166th Soldiers saying, "We are benefitting from the military and extensive civilian experience of the 1166th Transportation Company."

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Katie Daley from the 102nd Medical Group said the LMTV course would be useful because, "anytime we do a CERFP (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high yield explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package) mission, it is joint with the Army.  There are only eight medics attached to the search and extraction portion and we use Army gear."  

The forty-hour course was heavily hands-on.  The Airmen spent most of their time performing maintenance on the vehicles, practicing skills, and driving the LMTVs.      

"This has probably been one of the most hands-on courses I have ever been to," said Daley.  "All the 1166th Soldiers have a lot of knowledge and experience."

The Soldiers and Airmen worked together to make the course work and tailored it to the needs of the students.  The teamwork between the two branches was seamless.      

"I am enjoying the camaraderie between the two branches," said Army Sgt. Kevin Kennedy, 1166th Training Company.  Kennedy was impressed with both his Soldiers teaching and the Airmen learning saying, "the level of professionalism and skills displayed here is making this an easy course to teach."

Army Staff Sgt.  Wayne Heckman from the 1166th Training Company said, "It is a good experience for the Soldiers to be able to teach this course."  Heckman was impressed with the first group of Airmen taking the course saying, "They bring a high level of professionalism, attentiveness, and participation to the course.  I would like to have them all in my platoon."