Day of Training: 2 – 5
It has been a fun-filled couple of days training. We have spent several days of classroom training. Learning about the wartime portion of our career field. Over 99% of our mission is done from a home station terminal, and every now and then one of us receives an order for a deployment. On this Expeditionary Manpower training environment, I am part of a four-man team who is responsible for all of the positions (manpower resources) for the exercise.
Prior to my arrival to this training, I had several preconceived negative notions about this course. I attended this training about 10 years ago, and we did not learn anything related to our career field or knowledge base. We were paired with the personnel career field where we learned about the people (not the requirements/spaces). A couple weeks prior to packing, I spoke to a few of my peers who had recently attended the training and they too spoke negatively. So, before our instructors entered the classroom, I had a NEGATIVE attitude.
Over the last couple of days, we sat through several hours of classroom training. The material consisted our wartime responsibilities – requirements determination and organizational management. These two core competencies are critical for senior leaders in the fight to see whom they have in the fight.
One of the team building experiences we had to perform was building an expeditionary tent. My office paired with two other offices/functions to erect a 12-person tent. It took a bit to unpack the container and organize each of its pieces. I believe there were close to 100 individual pieces that were pinned and/or tied together to provide protection from various weather elements.
Back in the classroom, we had opportunities to network with on another, and see what best practices from other offices. We also had an opportunity to work on training scenarios – ones we will have for the exercise (Day 6). Each day we would practice a specific task based off a lesson we learned earlier in the day. After being in the career field for the last 14 years, I found these tasks pretty simple, but time-consuming. The class leader and I were able to quickly assist our other two classmates with the task concepts and principles. We had great team dynamics and had fun throughout the training.
One thing I have learned over these last couple days is there is more sodium in an MRE than I consume in a week. Some of our meals had over 900mg per serving. When I look at some of the snacks I packed for the weeklong journey, I only find sodium levels in the double digits. I welcome a home cooked meal!
This meal was one of the lowest sodium pack meals I could find. I just hope that my body has enough salt/electrolytes to endure this weekend’s marathon.
One positive aspect of this week is that I have been able to cover new running grounds. The workout window is very small and usually late in the evening. When the sun goes down – out here in the middle of nowhere – it gets dark.
Overall, this training experience has been really positive. We have had some really long days, but some amazing instructors. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s exercise and my return trip home.