New unit supports deployment training

Maj. Michael P. Kleiman
U.S. Air Forces in Europe

***image1***A new unit activated here Thursday embodies U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s commitment to training the command’s expeditionary leaders for the future.
“The 38th Combat Support Center manages the Expeditionary Leadership Program; an integral part of the Silver Flag Exercise conducted here six to eight times annually,” said Colonel Charles A. Weiss, commander of the 38th Combat Support Center.
“The Silver Flag Exercise is an eight-day program providing 25 to 30 mid-level leaders in the ranks of technical sergeant through major with classroom instruction on all phases of deployment,” he said. The classroom instruction is followed by a field training exercise where the students apply the learned skills.
“I believe the CSC will better prepare our mid-level leaders to perform in deployed locations,” Colonel Weiss said. “Our Expeditionary Leadership Program is designed for that purpose. We’ll continue to gather lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom and ongoing operations to improve our curriculum and field training exercises.”
The 38th CSC, a USAFE-unique initiative, is comprised of a mixture of personnel from a variety of career fields including logistics planning, transportation, supply, communications, civil engineering, personnel, security forces, services and others.
In addition, during the four-day classroom portion of the Expedi-tionary Leadership Program, the unit employs attached instructors from other Air Force specialties to provide a more exhaustive approach to the expeditionary lifestyle, including redeployment and reintegration.
“Because we are moving to almost solely expeditionary, it is important to have an operation like the CSC providing the training these people need to do their expeditionary jobs,” said Colonel Richard B. Weathers, 38th Combat Support Wing commander.
The center’s concept began to germinate earlier this year, and in May, the ELP teamed with the 435th Construction and Training Squadron’s Silver Flag Exercise here to offer its initial test course, said Colonel Weiss.
The first ELP occurred during the Silver Flag Exercise conducted July 16 to 25.
“Refining the Expeditionary Leadership Program remains our primary focus,” he said. “Partnering with the 435th CTS and 786th Security Forces Squadron to improve training opportunities represents a significant priority for our unit.”
Similar to an Airman hitting the ground running at a deployed location, 38th CSC members had little time to reflect on the center’s activation as the next ELP and Silver Flag Exercise runs today to Aug. 15.
“The 38th Combat Support Center has come a long way from its original inception in a short period of time, but what else could be expected of an organization whose calling is to prepare USAFE Airmen with an expeditionary mindset,” said Colonel Weiss.
Colonel Weiss assumed command of the 38th Combat Support Center during a ceremony officiated by Colonel Weathers, 38th Combat Support Wing commander.