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NEWS | Dec. 14, 2023

Mission Ready Airmen Case Studies: Mobile Technical Training

By Joseph Gangemi Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

Air Education and Training Command is reviewing moments of aviation history to reflect the importance of Agile Combat Employment, in addition to the warrior mindset and mission readiness its Airmen must sustain while preparing for the future fight.

Amid World War II, after receiving advice regarding the training of mechanics for the P-38's problematic powerplant, Maj. Gen. Walter R. Weaver, commander of the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command, recognized the potential for a comparable solution to address the challenges in advanced training for Army Air Forces aircraft mechanics.

Given mechanics often deployed with basic skills, and required advanced on-the-job training, there was a pressing demand for skilled mentors. This need led to instructors being primarily selected from the most promising graduates with initial skills or reassigned to strained aircraft factories. Weaver, acknowledging the inability to spare mechanics for classroom instruction, devised an alternative: taking the classroom directly to mechanics in the field.

Weaver's pioneering mobile training units laid the groundwork for what would later become the field-training detachments. This adoption of field training strategies bolstered the ongoing battle by deploying highly proficient instructor teams to areas with the greatest need. These teams remained in constant rotation, allowing them to enhance their advanced skills through exposure to factory modifications and expert technicians.

This decision stood as one of the most remarkable command initiatives during World War II. It significantly contributed to the development and reinforcement of the capabilities of the combatant Numbered Air Forces.

“Mobile Training Teams provide unique opportunities to empower our Airmen for the high-end fight,” said Gary Boyd, AETC historian. “This is a great example of how the command has always innovated to build combat-credible Airmen.”