DVIDS – News – 58 OG creates air power by training special ops, CSAR aviators

The 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland AFB, NM trains Airmen to fly nuclear security, distinguished visitor airlift, special operations and combat search and rescue aircraft, from fixed-wing aircraft to tilting rotor passing by helicopters.

Immediately under the wing is the 58th Operations Group, with five squadrons subordinate to Kirtland AFB and three geographically separate units at other bases.

The 58 OG trains specialist aviators – pilots, combat systems officers, loaders and special mission aviators (formerly known as machine gunners and flight engineers) – who are ready for the combat of tomorrow, today. Almost 1,000 people serve in the group, working in seven squadrons and two detachments. 58 OG commands and supports training at three geographically separate units in Alabama, North Carolina and Washington State. The group conducts all of the Air Force’s undergraduate rotary wing flight training and graduate flight training for special operations, personnel recovery, nuclear security, and distinguished visitor airlift crews. Annually, the 58 OG provides ground and flight training using 63 separate study programs, 23,000 flight hours, generating 11,000 student training sorties, employing 67 aircraft of eight different types and 30 simulators ; ultimately producing 1,400 trained airmen per year.

The 23rd Flight Training Squadron at Fort Rucker, Alabama, is home to the Air Force’s only rotary-wing undergraduate pilot training program, students flying aboard the TH-1H Huey II. On June 22, 2021, seven officers made history as the Air Force’s first graduates of an undergraduate helicopter program since 1993. Previously, students flew the T-6 as part of undergraduate pilot training prior to helicopter training. The helicopter-only program, called ‘Helicopter Training Next’, is part of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) pilot training transformation effort to stem the pilot crisis by using innovation to improve pilot training and increase overall pilot production. The 23 FTS implemented the new program in just four months, earning them the AETC General Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award for 2020.

58 OG Detachment 1, at Marine Corps Air Station New River, NC, conducts MV-22 Osprey Basic Aircraft Qualification training for the US Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and aircrew. the Japanese Defense Force, in partnership with the US Marine Corps, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204. The detachment trains student pilots in the fundamentals of the MV-22 job and serves as a training officer. USAF and AETC operational level execution for MV-22 issues. Retail 1 is the USAF focal point for the development, transition and integration of the V-22 interservice school.

The 36th Rescue Squadron has operated the UH-1N Huey at Fairchild AFB, Wash., Since 1971. The unit’s primary mission is to support the academic training of the U.S. Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) through hands-on helicopter operations. for more than 4000 students per year. The squadron also plays a vital role in the United States’ national civilian search and rescue structure, having performed more than 700 backups in its 50-year history.

The five squadrons based in Kirtland follow:
• The 512 Rescue Squadron trains students in the use of the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter used for combat search and rescue missions, and the UH-1N Iroquois helicopter used for nuclear security and missions air transport of distinguished visitors.
• 415 Special Operations Squadron trains students to fly the HC-130J Combat King II Fixed-Wing Rescue and Special Operations MC-130J Commando II.
• 71st Special Operations Squadron provides training on the CV-22 Osprey Special Operations Tilt Rotor.
• The 58th Training Squadron is responsible for the ground, simulator and academic training phase of 1,500 students each year.
• The 58th Operations Support Squadron deals with host aviation resource management, air delivery, crew flight equipment, intelligence, weapons and tactics, group training and commander’s support staff functions.

Many 58 OG units have received awards recognizing superior performance at the Numbered Air Force command level and above.

23 FT:
• Helicopter Training Next Team, 2020 AETC General Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award.
• Destry Hill, AETC Civilian Flight Instructor of the Year 2020.
• 1st Lieutenant Phillip Strunk, 19th Air Force Rotary Wing Pilot High Flyer of the year.
• Tech. Sgt. Cheyenne Blaker, 19th Air Force Military Training Leader of the Year.
• Senior Airman Jarret Manhart, 19th Air Force Mission Support Airman of the Year

71 SOS: AETC SOF / Mobility Squadron of the Year.

36 RQS:

• AETC candidate for Outstanding Rescue Squadron, Jolly Green / That Others May Live Foundation.
• Senior Airman Devin Hackney, 19th Air Force Rotary Wing Enlisted High Flyer of the Year.

The 512 RQS teamed up with the 188 RQS of the New Mexico Air National Guard and received the AETC General Mark A. Welsh One Air Force Award, given for mission success performed by a team consisting of two or several components of the Total Force. The award recognizes the team that has best demonstrated improved efficiency, operational readiness and / or mission accomplishments through integrated solutions.

415 SOS: Maj. Matthew Single, Airlift Tanker Association Huyser Award for Best Navigator.

58 TRS: Tech. Sgt. Travis Ackerman, Air Commando Association Leadership Award.

Col. Megan Ripple, commander of the 58th Operations Group, reflected on the resilience and ability of the unit to sustain and even increase student throughput during the global pandemic.

“The 58 OG persevered in the ever-changing COVID-19 environment and continued to produce educated students in predictable and predictable ways despite these challenges. We were able to do this thanks to our fantastic staff and our aircraft maintenance partners. Each member of our team is valued and everyone’s voice counts. We are too small and have too much to do to waste our human capital. We never gave up during the worst part of the pandemic and came out stronger and better than ever. Chief Field, Chief Stewart and I are extremely proud of the work accomplished during this time and we are honored to serve this group, ”she said.

Date taken: 08/24/2021
Date posted: 08/24.2021 14:39
Story ID: 403822
Site: ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, United States

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