372nd Training Squadron: Deliver state-of-the-art maintenance and communication training

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Kenneth Shinn
  • 372nd Training Squadron

Unit: 372nd Training Squadron

Location: Sheppard AFB, Texas

Mission:  Deliver State-of-the-Art Maintenance and Communication Training to DoD Warfighters and International Partners -- Anytime, Any place

Staff: 16 Active Duty, 10 Civilian

What We Do:

            The staff of 372 TRS acts as the headquarters element for 27 field training detachments and one geographically separated operating location.  Spanning 16 time zones, the 611 instructors of 372 TRS provide premier initial qualification and advanced maintenance training on 19 unique MDS aircraft, fighter engines, Aerospace Ground Equipment, Munitions, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Communications and Micro-miniature repair.  As stated by Chief Master Sgt. Phillip Rooney, the 372nd’s chief enlisted manager, “We are the Air Force’s go-to maintenance training service.  If a unit requires a particular skill-set, we provide the maintenance training capability to meet their needs -- worldwide.”

            What sets 372 TRS apart from other training squadrons on Sheppard is the sheer volume of courseware that is overseen and managed.  This headquarters oversight enables standardization of training across the Air Force.  Each of the 366 courses that are taught at the detachment level are managed at Sheppard by five curriculum managers.  The 372 Curriculum Managers put every course through a periodic review process in which each detachment, leadership from the host bases, and MAJCOM Functional Managers, collaborate to ensure that the training needs of the Air Force are being met.

            The training provided by the 372 is categorized as either initial qualification or advanced training.  In the last year 372 TRS produced 1,053 initial qualification and 17,559 advanced training graduates (more than one third of 82 TRW’s graduates).  “Initial qualification training is an extension of the crew chief courses that are taught at Sheppard,” says Mr. Jimmy Keen, Training Manager for the MQ-1, MQ-9 and U-2 aircraft.  “Airmen will enter our classes and receive their first operational hands-on opportunity.” Keen continues, “In advanced training courses we take the experiences that Airmen have acquired through real-world missions and put it together in a formal training environment to teach new skills and enhance their overall systems knowledge.”

            Ensuring accurate and current training devices is another responsibility of Trainer Managers.  Across the squadron there are nearly 300 individual trainers valued at over $280 million.  “We work closely with representatives from our host MAJCOMs to ensure that our training devices meet their needs” said Tech. Sgt. John Hipple, training manager for bomber aircraft.  “Currently we are developing trainers that will meet training objectives without using precious time on the aircraft.  We have the opportunity to positively affect maintenance for generations to come.”

            Beyond the day-to-day mission of the 372 TRS, the staff is heavily engaged with wing programs, ceremonies, and fundraisers. Two select staff personnel stood-up and guided the development Leadership Pathways for the wing. Many of the staff SNCOs have been elected to key positions for the Sheppard Chief's Group and the Top 3. While serving in those positions, they oversaw and chaired the annual and quarterly awards and SNCO Induction ceremony, providing honors to Sheppard's best personnel and promotes. As a team, they have volunteered on multiple occasions for the Sheppard Chief's Group/First Sergeant Council Steak Burn and the Top 3's Pulled Pork sales. All funds generated from the fundraisers were put back into the base to increase morale and esprit de corps.