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Historic training squadrons merge, missions continue at Vandenberg

Airmen from the 381st Training Group retire the 392nd Training Squadron's flag during the 392nd deactivation ceremony here July 2. The 392nd TRS, The Air Force’s only Air Force Specialty Code-awarding Intercontinental Ballistic Missile operations qualification squadron deactivated July 2 here and merged with the 532nd Training Squadron, a missile maintainer training squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jerry E. Clemens Jr.)

Airmen from the 381st Training Group retire the 392nd Training Squadron's flag during the 392nd deactivation ceremony here July 2. The 392nd TRS, The Air Force’s only Air Force Specialty Code-awarding Intercontinental Ballistic Missile operations qualification squadron deactivated July 2 here and merged with the 532nd Training Squadron, a missile maintainer training squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jerry E. Clemens Jr.)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif -- The Air Force's only Air Force Specialty Code-awarding Intercontinental Ballistic Missile operations qualification squadron deactivated July 2 here and merged with another training squadron at Vandenberg.

The 381st Training Group's, 392nd Training Squadron started as the 704th Strategic Missile Wing nearly 55 years ago when Vandenberg was still an Army Post named Camp Cooke. Eventually it was re-named the 392nd TRS April 1, 1994 and has now been absorbed by the 532nd Training Squadron, streamlining their operations and effectiveness.

"Action was requested by the Air Education and Training Command and 2nd Air Force to have their units continue to explore opportunities to gain efficiencies by reducing the manpower footprint in AETC and streamline similar training missions in support of AETC's continuing effort to maintain a culture of cost consciousness," said Col. Michele Edmondson, 381st Training Group commander. "This organizational innovation allows us to provide an even better world-class training environment focusing on producing superior graduates for field commanders. It builds deeper professionals while operating within an environment of cost consciousness."

Though the two squadrons have merged, their training requirements haven't changed.
"The newly merged unit will continue to teach 12 different ICBM and Air- Launched Cruise Missile courses," Edmondson said. "Class structure and teaching requirements will not change. The merged unit will enable us to further capitalize on synergies between the missile maintenance and missile operations career fields ultimately resulting in more well rounded maintainers and operators."

This training merger not only aims to benefit the Airmen individually, but also the nuclear enterprise chain of command as a whole.

"The 532nd TRS will conduct missile operations and maintenance initial skills training for officer and enlisted personnel," Edmondson said. "Additionally, the squadron will conduct supplemental training for maintenance personnel in key positions and missile staff officer training for ICBM squadron leadership."

The merger marries the missile operator training with the missile maintainer training, which some believe will result in more comprehensively trained Airmen in both AFSCs.

"The enterprise values Airmen with 'hybrid' operations and maintenance awareness," said Maj. Margaret Vencius, 532nd Training Squadron commander. "This tighter integration allows for seamless operations with enhanced safety and security. Opportunities to learn from each other, as well as sharing resources, expertise, training aids, simulators, facilities, etc., will aid in the creation of deeper nuclear professionals, more robust nuclear surety and more capable and responsive Airmen."