A look inside the 38th CTS: “Tent City” comes alive

1st Lt. Erin Dorrance
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Editor’s Note:  The following
article is the last in a series of four that features the 38th
Construction and Training Squadron.  The series includes features
on the squadron history, Aircraft Arresting System Depot mission, the
construction mission and the training mission.

Beige tents, gas masks and instructors are the scene most days at the 38th Construction and Training Squadron “Tent City.”

“Thousands of people pass through here for top notch training to
repair, maintain and operate deployed equipment,” said Senior Master
Sgt. Les Jones, Command Contingency Training superintendent.  

Of course, top notch training is only accomplished with a skilled staff
of instructors, of which the unit has 45 and 22 associate instructors.
The unit conducts three types of training; Silver Flag, mission
essential equipment training and specialized training.  

***image2***Silver Flag Exercise is an eight-day program which provides 215
participants classroom instruction on all phases of deployment. The
classroom instruction is followed by a field training exercise that
gives participants a chance to apply their learned skills.

The 38th CTS
is one of only three places in the Air Force that administers Silver
Flag, which is conducted six times each year, said Chief Master Sgt.
Rian Peaceman, 38th CTS chief. The other two Silver Flag locations are
Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and Kadena Air Base, Japan.  

“We give exercise students a chance to do their job in chemical
conditions, hostile fire and during the build up of a bare base to
prepare them for conditions they may encounter when they deploy,” said
Chief Peaceman.  

The MEET, which is a week-long technical training course, is attended
by 150 students each year, usually on their way to a deployment, said
Sergeant Jones. The course teaches students how to operate and
troubleshoot different equipment to include Reverse Osmosis Water
Purification Units, 750,000 watt generators and emergency airfield
lighting systems.  

The unit also offers specialized training which is command directed
when there is a need for a specific type of training.  This
training is often directed if it is not available somewhere else or if
there are not enough slots for the number of people requiring the
training, he said.  

Fire rescue training, which includes an array of skills from ground
rescue to rappelling, is an example of specialized training.  The
38th CTS offers the training because the training only exists at one
other location, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.  

About 100 fire fighters pass through the unit’s fire rescue training
each year. Sergeant Jones also said the fire rescue training program
saves the Air Force money in that they do not have to send people to
the U.S. to accomplish the training.   

In order to accomplish the training mission, the squadron built a tent
city. However, the tent city is no average tent city as it includes
wide, comfy tents that are heated.
There are also tents for the fitness center, recreation center and a
150-person dining facility, said Master Sgt. Tracy Schwartz, Services
Combat Training manager.

“Tent city not only gives civil engineers the ability to train in
austere conditions, but services career fields are graded in food
service, mortuary affairs and other support functions,” said Sergeant

Although the unit is busy training students, the unit finds time to host community events.

Each year the unit hosts two or three deployed spouse dinners which
give family members a chance to see what the conditions may be like
where their spouse or parent is deployed, said Sergeant Schwartz. The
unit also hosts an annual holiday party for injured troops throughout
the KMC.