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310th OSS embraces new training opportunity, environment

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jonathan Allamani
  • 310th Operations Support Squadron

Promoting a positive learning environment is an important factor to consider when measuring student performance against teacher effectiveness. The 310th Operations Support Squadron, alongside the 50th OSS, are committed to achieving this goal together and managing total force integration. In March 2016, a Functional Memorandum of Understanding was signed between both squadrons, defining the Total Force Integration roles and expectations.These roles are defined in five different areas; qualification training, instructor certification, crew force management, weapons and tactics and intelligence support. The FMOU is not meant to supersede the Host Tenant Support Agreement between the 50th Space Wing and the 310th SW, but simply further defines the essential operational support roles and responsibilities of each squadron.

“The partnership between the 50th OSS and 310th OSS has never been better,” said Lt. Col. David Gallagher, 50th OSS commander. “We are in the process of finalizing our next iteration of the Functional Memorandum of Understanding that defines the Total Force Integration operational support roles and responsibilities of each squadron. We have been very successful with integrating our Reserve component into our core mission areas involving qualification training, instructor qualification, crew force management, weapons and tactics and intelligence support. We value their support and could not accomplish our mission without the professionalism and dedication they bring every day.”     

Now integrated, the two squadrons are working toward producing next-generation space professionals. In support of operational readiness in 2016 alone, the 50th OSS graduated over 220 space experts and recreated, as well as fine-tuned, more than 2,000 training materials including scripts, tests and lesson plans. Additionally, the 50th OSS instructor cadre is solely responsible for providing more than 1,500 hours of space simulator training across seven different satellite platforms.

“We are proud of our total force accomplishments, but we know in order to be operationally successful in today's threat environment, it's an evolving process and we must continue to find the right mix of active and reserve components,” said Gallagher.

Made up of 15 different units, the 310th Space Wing is the only Reserve space wing in the Air Force. The men and women of the 310th amass a great breadth of knowledge and experience and, as a result, bring a seasoned perspective to the fight. In the spirit of task force integration, on any given day 310th personnel can be found sitting alongside their Regular Air Force counterparts. Currently, six 310th OSS members are sitting alongside members of the 50th OSS.  

“Having 310th OSS personnel sitting with their 50th OSS partners is extremely important,” said Lt. Col. Kelvin Dumas, 310th OSS commander. “It started with the integration of Crew Force Management and took off from there. We gain a lot of synergy which helps the team to produce high quality products for our students and operators. When you think about it, it makes total sense because we are doing the same mission.  What I love most about sitting together is that you can't tell the Reserve Citizen Airman apart from their active duty counterpart. We learn from each other and, in turn, make better instructors and operators.”

With a constant flow of students between Mission Qualification Training, Instructor Qualification Course and Instructor Recurring Training, classroom space is often an issue. Thanks to the continued support from the 50th OSS, the 310th has standardized one of their previous office spaces into a state-of-the-art classroom. The classroom is located in the 310th Operations Group building and has been dubbed ‘The Hornet’s Nest’ and can accommodate over 20 students.

Together, both squadrons are ensuring total force compliance with one common goal in mind; the development of next-generation space professionals and ready to fight in a contested environment.

“I expect the relationship between the 50th and 310th OSS to only get stronger,” said Dumas. “We are moving in the direction of integrating more of our flights and shared mission responsibilities. Instead of duplicating efforts, I envision us as mission partners with the same goals and objectives. At the end of the day, we are a Total Force supporting space war-fighters to dominate the high ground.”