372nd TRS, Field Training Detachment 26: Train tomorrow's maintainers today

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

Unit:                      Field Training Detachment 26, 372nd Training Squadron

Location:              March Air Reserve Base, California

Mission:               High quality training for MQ-1/MQ-9 Maintainers

Vision:                  Train Tomorrow’s Maintainers Today

Motto:                  Provide the Best Training on the Planet

Staff:                     Nine Enlisted Air National Guard

What We Do:

Detachment 26 is located at March Air Reserve Base, California, home of the 163rd Attack Wing.  From Chief Master Sgt. Ron Egan, Det Chief, “We are a small Air National Guard unit that began with the premise of training Air National Guard Maintainers for the MQ-1 mission.  When our Host transitioned to the MQ-9, we led the way by training our Instructors and adding MQ-9 training to the syllabus.  We are the best at what we do and are honored to pass along the benefit of our knowledge and experience.

In 2006, the 163d began the transition from KC-135s to the MQ-1 by sending a group of instructor trainees to Creech Air Force Base, Nevada for Hands-On Training then on to Det 13, at Nellis AFB for FTD.  We made an agreement with Det 13 to train our staff and we would work alongside their staff, teaching classes and shadowing their personnel in order stand up our own detachment.  We taught classes for about a year and a half at Nellis before we began teaching classes at March.  We operated under Nellis’ umbrella until January 2009, when Det 26 was officially recognized by AETC.  In 2010, Det 26 ‘paid it forward’ by training Det 28 (Syracuse, NY) on the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) mission enabling them to stand up Det 28.  Since January of 2009 Det 26 has taught 352 classes, 1,186 students and 33,515 hours.”

Chief Egan would like to take this opportunity to throw a “Shout Out” to our Host (The 163d ATKW) for always providing dedicated equipment to FTD.  Our Students have ventured out into their career fields better equipped to do their jobs as a result.  We are proud to have made our contribution to the training and RPA community and wish the best to Creech AFB, who will take over the “West Coast RPA Training Program” starting 1 October, 2016 when Det 26 will officially close operations.