MCA expands skills, increases lethality

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Azaria E. Foster and Airman Megan Estrada
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs

The 23d Wing hosted its first Multi-Capable Airmen course May 4 - June 2, here.

MCA is derived from the Air Force's Agile Combat Employment concept to provide a more lean and agile team.

“Multi-capable Airmen are trained to do additional skill sets outside of their core Air Force specialty code,” said Capt. Brennan Gallagher, the MCA program manager. “We're decreasing our footprint, allowing us to take a smaller group of individuals into forward operating sites and forward operating bases."

The MCA course was a four-week class composed of two phases that give Airmen skills to execute adaptive-basing in an austere environment.

“There's two parts to the training,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Coad, the Multi-Capable Airmen program manager. “Tier 1 is expeditionary training and Tier 2 is the multi-capable Airmen AFSC specific training. Tier 1 training incorporates base defense, communications and [Tactical Combat Casualty Care] as well as tent build-up and runway repair.”

Learning the fundamentals of Tier 1 is essential because it gives Airmen the ability to secure and defend a location.

We're really focused on making everyone a defender first because [we have] such a small footprint and don't have massive numbers of security forces and perimeter setup,” Gallagher said. “We're doing that in order to gain and maintain a piece of earth and from there, they're going to do their other skill sets.”

The second tier provided Airmen skills necessary to generate and maintain aircraft in support of the 23d Wing’s rescue and attack missions.

“Tier 2 training provides mission-generation skills as well as some command and control skills,” Coad said. “[For example,] that's when the security forces personnel learn how to refuel aircraft and the POL and maintenance side of the house.”

Airmen from several career fields, such as security forces, maintenance, communications and medical, participated in the MCA course.

“I've learned how to do static defense, shooting, moving and setting up defensive fighting positions,” said Senior Airman Gabriel Vorce, 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief. “I think it's important because it makes it so that if one [Airman] goes down, we don't have to end the mission. We have somebody that can step up, step into that role and be able to continue to complete the mission.”