MCA train with US Marine Corps

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Vaughn Weber
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

Multi-capable Airmen training has expanded to Twentynine Palms, California, with a new opportunity to train alongside the U.S. Marine Corps in an operationally limited environment.

This new joint training was with the Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, and it was developed by the 357th Fighter Squadron and 79th Rescue Squadron to provide MCA hands-on training at the largest U.S. Marine Corps base.

“Once a quarter, we are providing an opportunity for as many as 15 multi-capable Airmen to go on this mission and practice forward area refueling point operations and airfield security,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joel Bier, 357th FS commander. “We keep evolving this joint force training to have MCA accomplish mission objectives in an expeditionary environment.”

So far, this training has been conducted in October and December 2021, with trained MCA flying out on 79th RQS HC-130J Combat King II aircraft. At Twentynine Palms, MCA get the unique opportunity to work alongside Marines to secure the landing zone for 357th FS A-10C Thunderbolt IIs and install the AM-2 airfield mat for the A-10s to land on.  

“We were able to learn similarities between (the branches) operational concepts,” said U.S. Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Wilson, Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 airfield services officer. “Which will inform our current and future planners about the capabilities, skills and technical abilities of similar military occupation specialty types outside of the Marine Corps.”

Working alongside the U.S. Marine Corps’ airfield services officers and bulk fuel specialists, the 355th Wing’s MCA refined their skillset of conducting FARP operations and ensuring A-10s take off and land safely in austere locations. 

 “Overall I would say that we enjoy working with the U.S. Air Force during all types of training operations,” said Wilson. “I know for a fact that the Marines always enjoy seeing an A-10 in the pattern.”

Trained MCA can reach out to their chain of command to volunteer for the next joint force training opportunity at Twentynine Palms.