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Andersen conducts first Silver Flag course

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Emily A. Bradley
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The 554th Red Horse Squadron concluded the first mock course rotation of Silver Flag June 20, on Northwest Field, Guam.

Members of a U.S. Navy construction battalion from Naval Base Guam participated in the course to give the Andersen instructors experience with conducting the training with actual students before the first official course is held in late 2014.

"The class is intended to prepare civil engineers to be tactically ready and technically proficient on the equipment they have to be responsible for in a contingency environment," said Tech. Sgt. Rick McGinnis, 554 RHS Silver Flag instructor. "The mock class went really well, the Seabees were able to understand the knowledge we gave them and turn around and apply it."

The students exercised essential skill sets such as setup of aircraft arresting barriers and expeditionary airfield lighting systems, crane operations, generator installation, fire rescue technician training, emergency management, water fuels system maintenance, heating ventilation and air conditioning, electrical distribution and operations management.

"Our job is to get troops 'spun up,' ready to deploy and complete the mission," McGinnis said.

The course, which was previously conducted by a 554th RHS detachment at Kadena Air Base, Japan until deactivation in Feb. 2014, was the first time Silver Flag was conducted by the 554th RHS at the Pacific Air Forces Regional Training center on Northwest Field.

"There are a few Silver Flag locations around the world, but what makes this Silver Flag site different is our ability to shape the future in the Pacific region," said Capt. Brian Lassiter, 554th RHS Engineering Flight commander. "While principally a training requirement for USAF Airmen, Silver Flag has also instructed engineers from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and branched out forming relationships with several other Pacific region partner air forces such as the Republic of Korea Air Forces, the Republic of Singapore Air Forces and the Taiwanese Air Force."

Silver Flag is an expeditionary training program held at numerous training locations throughout the Air Force and is meant to provide Civil Engineers, Communications, Force Support, and Finance personnel with the ability to set up and operate in bare-base locations while focusing on base salvage, command and control, airfield recovery and other operations.

"The training prepares Airmen for any contingency throughout the (Asia-Pacific) Region, and we were able to fine tune the way we will be conducting upcoming courses," said Master Sgt. Andrew Gunter, 554th RHS operations chief. "This mock flag will be used as a tool to take lessons and implement them into our future curriculum to better the course."

Silver Flag is made up of a variety of training opportunities meant to prepare Airmen to forward deploy.

"Silver Flag in Guam will now be able to host military personnel from all of our regional partners in the Pacific,' Lassiter said." This training and multilateral partnering helps shape the way we function as an Air Force and will improve the way our future Airmen will function in a joint environment."

The next Silver Flag course is scheduled to take place around the middle of August.

(The quotes by Capt. Lassiter and other information from a previous Silver Flag story published March 1 by Tech. Sgt. Zachary Wilson, 36th Wing Public Affairs, were used in this article.)