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C-21A training takes root at Scott thanks to showcase teamwork

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Brad Spears
  • 458th Airlift Squadron commander
Thank you Showcase Wing! During the past six weeks, the Airmen of the 458th Airlift Squadron have been hard at work executing our newest mission: training Air Force C-21A pilots.

We have had great success thus far, graduating our first two classes ahead of the programmed timeline. This initial success in standing up a flying Formal Training Unit, or FTU, would not have been possible without the cooperative efforts of many people and organizations throughout the wing. It has truly been a team effort!

To bring the C-21 FTU back to Scott AFB, we needed to build a foundation worthy of a Showcase Wing schoolhouse--specifically, we needed to develop AMC approved syllabi, coordinate student billeting needs, plan for a significant increase in aircraft activity in and around the airfield, and identify and equip classrooms.

Thanks to the efforts of Maj. Scott Russell, a syllabus was approved in time for the inaugural class. Major Russell also led the larger effort to achieve initial operational capability in April. Thanks to the efforts of the 375th Force Support Squadron students have a home away from home while they complete their training.

Thanks to the efforts of the 375th Operational Support Squadron we are safely conducting increased operations in the pattern and on the ground. Additionally, the OSS ensures that our students receive specially tailored weather briefings.

Thanks to the efforts of the 375th Civil Engineer Squadron's 2nd Lt. Calyx Harrell and the 375th Contracting Squadron, our students will soon have an exceptional facility in which to train while operations at the 458th continue. New classroom space, briefing rooms, and office space for the FTU are being created in Hangar 3 as a result of a $227,000 renovation.

Thanks to the efforts of the 375th Communications Squadron the new classrooms and office space will be outfitted with state-of-the-art technology.

Thanks to the efforts of FTU instructor pilots Maj. Karl Zurbrugg, Maj. Matt Dooley, Maj. Jim Gallagher, Maj. Scott Wood and Capt. Luis Garces, we are well on track to achieve full operational capability, or FOC, on time in July.

And, thanks to the continued efforts of all of the men and women of the 458th Airlift Squadron we will achieve FOC while continuing to "Deliver the Very Best" in operational support airlift.