Home Station Training: Airmen rest, fed, mission ready

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mariette Adams
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

When Airmen deploy or carry out operations where there isn’t a military installation close by, they must setup essential equipment to meet the basic needs of food, water, shelter and rest so they can execute their mission. This skill is known as Home Station Training and it's conducted annually to ensure Airmen are mission ready at a moment’s notice.

Personnel from the 6th Force Support Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, completed Home Station Training Oct.4-5, with the goal of keeping deployed Airmen fueled and ready to take on the mission, no matter the location.

“When we get deployed to a bare base, our first priority is to set up food and lodging,” said Senior Airman Phillip Martin, a fitness specialist assigned to the 6th Force Support Squadron. “We work together to set up the Single Pallet Expedition Kitchen (SPEK), that way we can start feeding people. We also set up the lodging tent, so people can have somewhere to sleep at night.”

For the two days of Home Station Training, Airmen receive approximately eight hours of classroom instruction covering various concepts, to include setting up tents and getting a bare base operational. They also complete around seven hours of hands-on training in which they put the learned concepts to use.

During the course, they work with two types of tents, the Temper Tent and the Small Shelter System.

The SPEK, also known as a Temper Tent, is a deployable pallet containing everything needed to make a sustainable meal, called a Unitized Group Ration. This includes utensils, a sink, a heating system, the flooring and tent.

The Small Shelter System is a tent used for lodging and can also be used as a fitness or recreation tent.

“We train around 130 people a year, including both customer service technicians, who get a condensed version of the training, and services, who get the full training,” said Senior Airman Taylor Deany, a unit deployment manager and readiness technician assigned to the 6th FSS. “This training is important because Airmen get out of their work environments, and they get to learn some hands-on deployment training.”

This training is one phase of education for establishing bare base operations. Additional training includes Silver Flag, which certain FSS Airmen based on the unit and mission, must attend an eight-day course of in-depth training.

The Home Station Training ensures 6th FSS Airmen are ready when called upon to setup a new base or location.

“It’s vital to be ready at any time in case we are needed, and to make sure everyone is trained and has experience working with the equipment,” said Deany.