97 TRS implements distance friendly training for students

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell
  • Altus Air Force Base Public Affairs


To assist with the COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the 97th Training Squadron has begun the process of transferring Computer Based Training (CBT) onto laptops and tablets for new students to study from home.

As part of COVID-19 mitigation efforts to protect members already stationed at the 97th Air Mobility Wing, several policies for new students have been implemented to prevent the potential spread of disease. 

“Many of our simulation instructors fall into the high-risk category,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert Buckley, the operations officer assigned to the 97th TRS. “Also, many of our students are coming in from units who are world-wide qualified and still are carrying out our nation’s mission daily. Implementing these changes helps protect both students and instructors in order to continue this critical mission of training aircrew.”

According to the 97th TRS leaders, new students arriving at the installation are placed into an Advanced Medical Monitoring (AMM) status. This status is intended to maximize the protection of the students themselves, our community, contract instructor corps, and base populace while still continuing training, which the U.S. Secretary of Defense has deemed mission essential to national security.

“Students will only do academics during the first 14 days,” said Buckley. “This includes computer-based training and instructor-led training with proper precautions. We’re mitigating risk by ensuring six feet of spacing between individuals and requiring the students to wear masks.”

Students throughout their training at the 97th AMW complete about 40 CBTs for a total of 27 hours of training to qualify for their respective career duties.

“Graduating students on time is crucial,” said Buckley. “For every day of training we lose, we get behind schedule in producing new co-pilots, loadmasters, boom operators, aircraft commanders, and instructors for our Air Force.”

Restrictions for new students currently include: restricted to on-base, single-occupancy lodging only, limited on-base movement, increased monitoring and deliberate contact, three times per week medical assessments, donning of protective medical masks whenever inside a base facility, and they may only begin non-simulator based training.

“The entire world benefits from these restrictions as Air Mobility Command is able to continue to provide the logistical backbone to our global reach and rapid global mobility,” said Buckley. "That means humanitarian aid is delivered, aeromedical evacuations get patients critical care, and our fighters and bombers get bombs on target to protect not only the United States, but many nations around the globe.”