314th AW conducts first OST for students in two years

  • Published
  • By Staff Reports
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Amidst historic snowfall from two winter storms that hit Little Rock Air Force Base, the 314th Airlift Wing launched aircraft, cadre, and students in an attempt to continue training at an off-station site in St. George, Utah, Feb. 19-23.

This marked the first time in over two years that the 314th AW’s schoolhouse has trained students at an off-station location.

As the nation's tactical airlift "Center of Excellence," the 314th AW’s schoolhouse trains C-130 aircrew members from the Department of Defense, Coast Guard and 47 partner nations. This includes training more than 1,200 students annually, with more than 150 international students as part of the DoD's largest international flying training program.

The multi-day training event exposed students to low-level mountain flying in Utah, complex range operations in California and realistic threat training in Nevada.

“Conducting schoolhouse training provided a unique experience for the cadre and students alike,” said Maj. Ryan Harrison, 62d Airlift Squadron pilot and mission commander. “Training off-station exposed them to both exceptional challenges and learning opportunities.”

Harrison was tasked to pull together a training syllabus that not only met the needs of the students, but Air Education and Training Command’s needs as well.

This included coordinating flights across variable objective areas in the Rocky Mountains and California in order to optimize student requirements.

“The high pressure altitude environment and complex terrain forced detailed mission planning for both the students and Formal Training Unit cadre,” Harrison said.

Harrison added that the high-elevation training helped prepare the students for worldwide mobility operations.

“Experiencing how the C-130 operates in the mountains of Utah and the deserts of California was an amazing capstone training event,” said Capt. Zach Overbey, a C-130J student pilot heading to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan.  

The off-station training mission enabled the schoolhouse to accelerate and enhance student learning despite adverse weather at home station.