Ready at any time: ATSO training prepares Airmen for deployments

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rito Smith
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 6th Air Mobility Wing attended an Ability to Survive and Operate training on Jan. 26-27, 2018 at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

The training consisted of replicated environments to assess Airmen’s ability to operate under extreme conditions.

“Any personnel who are tasked to deploy or will possibly deploy are required to have the training,” said Senior Airman Kayla Faver, a training instructor assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron. “We transitioned from the ‘Just in Time’ training to ATSO which allows Airmen to be ready to deploy at all times.”

The 6th SFS focused on integrated base defense where they discussed the role of every Airman in protecting the base and its assets.

“We talked about passive and active measures that we need to take every day, how to react to indirect fire, how to respond to near and far ambushes, some weapons familiarization with the M4 and M9,” said Faver. “We also hit on how to fix your weapon if it jams and some of the different types of reports an individual would use in the field.”

The training focused on being able to perform under stress to ensure the safety of all Airmen.

“I just hope that the Airmen took the training seriously, and they understand that they could be put into these types of situations,” said Faver. “Also, I hope that if they are ever put into these situations that they retained the training and are able to react accordingly to get them and their wingmen home safe.”

As well as integrated base defense, Airmen learned when to use mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear, how to identify unexploded ordnance, post attack reconnaissance teams, and contamination avoidance when transitioning between different zones.

“Airmen wear their MOPP gear during all of this training to reinforce the training they already have,” said Tech. Sgt. Roderick Gilmore, flight chief of readiness and emergency management assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron. “It also helps to manage expectations when wearing the gear and ensuring Airmen are comfortable with how to don and doff the equipment.”

The last part of the training consisted of hands-on first aid training where instructors practiced on training manikins.

“During the self-aid buddy care portion of the training Airmen focused on how to apply tourniquets and airway management,” said Gilmore. “Airmen actually got to apply a tourniquet to stop blood flow on a training dummy.”

The ATSO training allowed Airmen to get hands-on training for deployments by practicing simulated scenarios.

“Readiness is directly tied to our ability to win the fight,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Vickers, a unit deployment manager assigned to the 6th SFS. “We need to see that they are ready to survive and operate in the environment being replicated so we know if we need to add further training or not.”

Through training, like ATSO, Airmen are given the opportunity to experience simulated environments that require them to think on their feet and act fast to ensure they are effective as wingmen.