Training the Army to Operate Airfields?

Airmen in Germany have embarked on a DOD pilot program to train soldiers how to manage and operate airfields. According to the US Air Forces in Europe airfield management functional manager, MSgt. Karen Ashley, “There is a need for Army airfield operations battalion personnel to deploy downrange and run an airfield for all types of incoming and outgoing aircraft.” The Air Force chose airfield managers at Ramstein AB, Germany to conduct this first effort largely because the Ramstein airfield serves as a hub for a wide variety of aircraft bound for Southwest Asia operations. The training will comprise everything from flight-line driving and bird strike hazard mitigation to flight planning procedures and airfield inspections. Ashley said USAF already is considering expanding the program to other installations and has begun to set up “the framework to send Army airfield operations battalion personnel through Air Force airfield manger training courses in the US.” (Ramstein report by Capt. Erin Dorrance)