372nd TRS, Det 22: train and motivate Airmen

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

Unit:               Detachment 22, 372nd Training Squadron

Location:        Minot AFB, ND

Mission:          To Train and Motivate Our Airman

Vision:            Provide Field Training and Training Support That Makes a Lasting Difference

Staff:              12 Active Duty USAF instructors

What We Do:

 “Our mission at Detachment 22 at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota is to support the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing by providing follow-on, upgrade, cross-over, and advanced maintenance training on the B-52s as well as instructional courses to security forces, munitions and training personnel throughout both wings,” said Field Training Detachment Chief, Master Sgt. Ericson Wolford.  “This small, yet powerful team of 12 instructors across five AFSCs have a combined 155 years of aircraft maintenance experience.  In the last 12 months, we’ve graduated 333 students and stand ready to take on new challenges.”

A new addition to the 60-year-old B-52 is the roll out of the Combat Network Communications System (CONECT) upgrade.  It has given the aircraft a new platform to improve operator awareness, in-flight re-targeting, carrier re-tasking, and an enhanced situational awareness in a more efficient, versatile, and timely manner. The B-52 avionics systems instructor Tech. Sgt. Timothy Germain stated, “This new course will keep our students on the leading edge of training and maintenance for new capabilities on an aging fleet.”    

Det 22 has also just finished validating a whole new ‘Combat Readiness Training’ course.  This new course is a complete re-write and update to the original.  Over a period of six weeks this new course takes new B-52 crew chiefs and prepares them to be a 5-level through rigorous instruction and supervision as well as hands-on demonstration and task completion.  After graduation the students are 100% signed off on all 5-level core tasks and go back to their sections more than prepared to meet the demands of the flight-line with minimal supervision.  Tech. Sgt. Kory Collier stated, “Teaching young Airmen to maintain excellent standards in their work and watching them develop into professionals, makes us proud to do what we do every day.”

Det 22 is constantly looking to advance training by the development and re-utilization of aircraft/system trainer development.   Over the past year instructors have removed a communications trainer from the Operations Group to utilize in our existing communications and navigation course which saved over $4.5 million in costs to the Air Force.  The development of a B-52 main landing gear wheel and tire trainer will be used in place of an operational aircraft and will save 25 hours per Combat Readiness Training course.  We’re constantly evolving to meet the high demands and needs of AFGSC and the 5th Bomb Wing.

            Master Sgt. Wolford summed up his team, “Although Det 22 is a small organization, the impact that these instructors have across the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing is of major significance.  Det 22 instructors are the example of professionalism that the students strive to embody and we will continue to set the example and maintain a significant presence with the local community.”