442nd Mission Support Group models total force integration

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 442nd Mission Support Group comprises four squadrons that exist to improve, secure and protect the base, and to ensure personnel get paid.

These are the 442nd Security Forces Squadron, 442nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, 442nd Force Support Squadron and 442nd Civil Engineer Squadron.

The 442nd MSG, which falls under the Air Force Reserve Command, sends Airmen to these squadrons to provide support and instruction, and to receive on-the-job-training in return, according to U.S. Air Force Col. Jeffery Barnett, the group's commander.

"We take care of getting the big rocks out of the way, while the folks on the ground get all the other things done. Together we help clear the path," said Barnett. "We integrate with the squadrons from the 509th Bomb Wing in many ways. One of those ways is the co-seasoning training program, which is the Reserve's method to progress an Airman from a 3- level to a 5-level quickly. If an Airman wasn't in this program, it would take them 5 to 7 years to get their 5-level."

This is an effective program because it allows Airmen fresh from technical training the opportunity to receive active-duty orders and work with their 509th counterparts. The Airmen are signed off on tasks required for their respective career fields, and in return, the 509th squadrons receives more manpower to handle work orders, back logs and numerous tasks.

"The great value is our young troops getting the opportunity to go over to the squadrons, learn and build long-term relationships," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Anne Yelderman, 442nd MSG deputy commander. "It really opens up a lot of opportunities for them in the long run."

These opportunities come in the form of receiving more intensive OJT than a typical reserve schedule allows.

"We currently have several troops working in the traffic management office and vehicle maintenance," said Yelderman. "It is very difficult for a reservist to receive good hands-on training two days a month because it is just not enough time for them to progress. It's one thing to read a book and understand what's going on, but it's another when the task has to be physically performed. There is a strong sense of 'Team Whiteman' within the traffic management unit."

The functional representative of the AFRC determines how much time an Airman is allowed in co-seasoning training. Depending on the squadron and career field, an Airman can be allowed in the program for three months to a year. The decision is also based upon obtaining the most production for the least amount of money.

Once an Airman completes all tasks assigned from his unit, he is eligible for new tasks and promotions.

The seasoned Airmen also provide back-up in the situations of active-duty members deploying or out-processing to another base. If there is a need in one of the four squadrons, a 442nd Airman can perform those tasks to prevent work build-up.

The 442nd MSG also provides money to help improve joints projects around the base such as roads. The money they receive from the AFRC can only be used for joint purposes because the reserve units aren't underneath the same command as the 509th.

The 442nd MSG supports their Airmen's career development to help improve the productivity and increase manpower within the four supporting squadrons.

"We are proud of the hard work our Airmen produce on a daily," said Barnett. "Their ability to learn and do their tasks helps contribute to the Whiteman mission."