By Senior Airman Alex Kaelke
137th Special Operations Wing
The 137th Special Operations Wing (SOW) began Mission Sustainment Team (MST) training, which will create multi-capable Airmen ready to sustain livable conditions in deployed environments Nov. 5-7, 2021, in Oklahoma City.
Fifty-five Airmen from five squadrons within the 137th Special Operations Mission Support Group learned a variety of new skillsets including forklift driving, radio communications and aircraft refueling. The purpose of this cross training is ensuring long-term mission sustainment, making Airmen more capable to operate in diverse deployed environments.
“MST is based off the concept that we have to become more flexible and agile in how we respond to our adversaries,” said Chief Master Sgt. Alquintin Steele, the senior enlisted leader of the 137th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron. “We’re no longer in an environment where it’s about how we can win the war, but it’s how we can sustain conditions long-term and be able to move into different environments quickly.”
MST training emphasizes proper pacing and good communication. For one MST exercise, Airmen refueled an MC-12W aircraft in a simulated hostile environment. The 137th SOW is one of two Air National Guard wings leading the charge in adapting how Airmen are trained in response to ever-changing threats.
“I think it’s very important for us to become multi-capable Airmen instead of having Airmen only proficient in one specialty,” said Steele. “MST involves combining the skillsets of Airmen from multiple Air Force specialties into a quick-response force to help out wherever we’re needed.”