Down, dirty training for combat engineers
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- More than 100 374th Civil Engineer Squadron Prime Beef Airmen came together at the Par 3 golf course here for their monthly training day Thursday.
"We have monthly Prime Beef training that is completed at home station and is a requirement for the 374 CES," said 2nd Lt. Katie MacGregor, 374 CES readiness and emergency management deputy chief. "The training could be anything from PowerPoint slides, computer based training or field training."
The engineers trained in four different scenarios, each with an emphasis on combat.
"The focus for this training was individual movement techniques," MacGregor said. "We ran the Airmen through cover and concealment, stealth, movement tactics and movement techniques."
What was once a slide presentation and a CBT has turned into an outdoor event with weapons, tactical gear and Mother Nature.
Throughout the day, Airmen trained on different movement patrols like the wedge and file formation; techniques involving the Airmen getting up close and personal with dirt and grass while performing the low crawl, high crawl and short rush; and concealment and stealth such as using the environment to avoid the enemy.
"We try and make the training as hands-on as possible, which makes it more effective," MacGregor said. "Our pre-deployment training site, Silver Flag, is being moved from Japan to Guam, so it's really important for us to get some combat training when we can."
The switch seems to be a hit with the participants; the phrase "death by PowerPoint" no longer applies.
"Instead of accomplishing our training on a computer, we get outside and get hands-on training," said Senior Airman Angel Amaya, 374 CES heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician. "Not only is it more fun and enjoyable, but it helps you retain the information better than just reading it."
Overall, the monthly training had more than a 50 percent turnout for the 374 CES.
"I think this training has been really effective," MacGregor said. "This has been the first time in a few months that we've been able to get everyone together. We have about 200 people in our squadron and about 124 participated, so it was a good turnout."