Air Force Space Command Reserve Forces conducted a common training assembly last week to ensure nearly 350 individual mobilization augmentees are trained and ready for mobilization
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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.—Air Force Space Command Reserve Forces conducted a common training assembly last week to ensure nearly 350 individual mobilization augmentees are trained and ready for mobilization.
Reservists are expected to be trained at the same level as their active duty counterparts. While active-duty Airmen have all year to meet their ancillary training requirements, IMAs must try to accomplish their requirements while “in status,” either during annual tour or periods of inactive duty training. Since IMAs are often unable to accomplish these requirements, AFSPC decided to remedy the problem with the CTA concept, the brain-child of Colonel James Rendleman, AFSPC’s director of Reserve Forces.
With CTAs, AFSPC ancillary training is collected into four opportunities yearly verses 700 IMAs attempting to individually arrange their training. General Lance W. Lord, commander, Air Force Space Command, endorsed the concept and directed all AFSPC IMAs to attend one CTA annually. “He is a great supporter of the program,” said Colonel Rendleman,” and Air Force Reserve Command has leaned forward to fund the active duty tours used for the training.”
“Air Force Space Command leads the way in improving IMA readiness with the CTA concept,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Young, AFSPC IMA program manager.
The Peterson AFB CTA was jam-packed with briefings and hands-on training. The CTA also provided Reserve program benefit updates and time for IMAs to accomplish due or overdue medical and dental assessments.
“Being new to the IMA Program; the CTA was very informative and well organized,” said Master Sgt. Tamara Davis, an IMA assigned to the 21st Services Squadron. “The ancillary training was an excellent refresher for me.”
After completing this training, IMAs report for duty better prepared to serve alongside their active duty colleagues.
As with any conference or large gathering, networking is a side benefit. IMAs are individually assigned to an active duty unit which explains a common expression often made by them, “I am alone.” The networking that goes on at a CTA shows an IMA that he or she is truly part of a larger group.
“I do not feel “alone” at all,” said Sergeant Davis.
More than 300 AFSPC-assigned IMAs from Peterson AFB, Vandenberg AFB (Calif.), and Buckley AFB (Colo.), attended the CTA along with 30 from the U.S. Air Force Academy. Also participating were NORAD/NORTHCOM and DISA IMAs.
The effort to conduct CTAs resulted from a trend that was identified after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Several thousand IMA reservists, including hundreds of AFSPC IMAs, were mobilized. Pre-mobilization readiness rates were found to be unsatisfactory.
By conducting four CTAs last year, more than 650 AFSPC IMAs were trained. This feat did not go unnoticed. During the November 2004 IMA Program Manager - Base IMA Administrator conference held at the Air Reserve Personnel Center, AFSPC’s training concept was lauded.
“CTAs are the way of the future to improve IMA readiness,” said Maj. Gen. Jay Barry, mobilization assistant to the Chief, Air Force Reserve.
The Peterson CTA was the third of four scheduled for this year. Earlier Los Angeles AFB, Calif., and Patrick AFB, Fla., CTAs trained hundreds of IMAs. The final FY 05 CTA is scheduled for June 24-25 at Malmstrom AFB, Mont.