Battlefield weather Airmen graduate Cyclogenesis course

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Spencer Gallien
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
The first-ever class of battlefield weather Airmen to attend the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing's "Cyclogenesis" course recently graduated Aug. 6 during a ceremony at Camp Blanding, Fla.

The 93rd AGOW recently created a memorandum of agreement between the Florida Army National Guard and Air National Guard that consolidated training at numerous U.S. Army posts into one condensed course.

"Our goal was to create a single course that teaches battlefield weather Airmen who are stationed at Army posts, the 32 Warrior Tasks and 12 Battle Drills that every Army soldier receives during their basic training," said Master Sgt. James Heinrich, 93rd AGOW. "Previously, battlefield weathermen would have to travel to several Army posts for portions of training.

"Sometimes, they would deploy before acquiring the necessary knowledge to operate as an integrated member of an Army unit," he added. "This course will teach the skills necessary to mold competent battlefield weathermen who are prepared to step in and become a part of an Army unit."

The initial class was a "proof of concept" course. The current students, instructors and facilitators tested out the course to make sure it will be beneficial and plausible for future use.

The first set of students were there for a total of five weeks, however, the goal of the 93rd AGOW is to host a course that will last approximately 11 weeks.

"The whole point of this initial course is to get an understanding of a timeframe for the course, as well as making sure that each portion of training is needed to create the best possible battlefield weathermen," said Tech. Sgt. Joel Decker, 93rd AGOW NCO in-charge of training. "So far this class has done very well and we've had some extremely valuable feedback. We feel very positive about moving forward with the course."

The course was taught by Army National Guard military occupational specialty qualification infantry course instructors.

In addition to the basic warrior skills cultivated during the course, Airmen also received a more in depth look at tactical meteorological gear that they may need to work on while deployed.

"Our goal as instructors is to make the Airmen feel as comfortable as possible when they're with Army units," said Army Staff Sgt. David Teat, Florida National Guard infantry instructor. "This course will instill enough Army knowledge in these Airmen so they may operate with us while running patrols or escorting our Air Force weather counterparts."

For many of the students, this isn't the first time they've been through an Army familiarization course. These students were able to give valuable feedback to the 93rd AGOW and facilitators on the effectiveness of the class.

Master Sgt. Todd Carballo, battlefield weatherman applications instructor and student in the exercise, went through the Army infantry MOS qualification course more than 10 years ago and has a working knowledge of the Army.

"This course was really great," said Sergeant Carballo. "It's been roughly ten years since I went through Army infantry school, and so much has changed since then, that this kind of training for our career field is really invaluable.

"One piece of advice that I'd like to give to all battlefield weathermen who go through this course is to keep an open mind," he added. "It's a huge culture change the way the Army does things. You really need to be flexible and soak everything in."

Now that the first group of students has graduated, the task of building on their successes begins.

"We hope to have a permanent course up and running sometime next year," said Sergeant Heinrich. "I would be extremely happy if we can get a cycle of students going through roughly 11 weeks of training.

"Now that the first iteration of the course is over, we will have the opportunity to go back and adjust the course," he added. "Our goal is to train highly prepared, competent Airmen who are ready to integrate with the Army in a joint atmosphere."