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JBSA News
NEWS | July 1, 2024

Force Support Contingency Training returns to Silver Flag 

By Debbie Aragon Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs

The Air Force is launching new and improved Force Support Contingency Training at Silver Flag locations to better prepare services Airmen for their missions in deployed environments.  

While still conducting deployment training at other venues, Silver Flag training was paused for a short time to better align training requirements and curriculum with the needs of the Air Force Force Generation deployment model.   

At the time of the pause, each Silver Flag site was using different objectives and training for different mission sets, and the standards weren’t aligned with the current deployment model.   

The career field needed to focus on these areas and other mission sets services is tasked to support, said Jennifer Richbourg, chief of Force Support Readiness at Headquarters Air Force.  

“Due to the changes with Great Power Competition and the upcoming changes with Air Task Force and Deployable Combat Wings, it was the perfect time to include these concepts,” Richbourg said. “Our force support commanders and senior enlisted leaders also didn’t believe the mission qualification training events were meeting the mark for fulfilling readiness capabilities.”  

The Air Force Services Center, a primary subordinate unit of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, and the Air Force Personnel Center were tasked with updating, redesigning and re-establishing Silver Flag training “to better support the needs of the Air Force’s new deployment model and ATF,” said Master Sgt. Nathan Jones, Training and Development section chief at AFSVC.  

The new curriculum will be evaluated during a series of beta tests over the next few months at all Silver Flag sites: Andersen Air Force Base, Guam; Dobbins Air Force Base, Georgia; Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.   

The first test was held in May at Dobbins with the second planned in June at Andersen.  

During each 5-day beta test schedule, Total Force enlisted services and personnel Airmen and force support officers will train and be tested on the seven mission-essential tasks needed in a deployed environment: mission planning, command and control, force beddown, accountability, food service, mortuary affairs, and casualty reporting.  

“The beta tests allow cadre to present a lesson followed by a real-time scenario so Airmen can then use the skills they may have already learned at home station, combined with the lessons at Silver Flag, and accomplish desired learning objectives that align with wartime task standards,” Jones said.   

With several weeks between each beta test, AFSVC and AFPC teams are analyzing the training and reviewing feedback from students and cadre to determine if they’re meeting desired learning objectives.  

“We’re able to talk through and tweak training so we’re constantly evolving the curriculum before the next test,” Jones said.   

The team expects this approach will enable an approved curriculum to get to the field quickly and alleviate training delays. 

AFIMSC has programmed training for those readying for deployment in fiscal year 2025, so once the beta tests are complete, force support training will continue to align with Silver Flag courses scheduled through the civil engineer community.  

“Because this training is now earlier in the AFFORGEN cycle, it will allow our Airmen to receive the sets and reps they need to be better prepared for situations they might endure, as well as identify any areas where further training is required prior to deployment,” Richbourg said.