Space 100: Introduction to 'final frontier'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Heather R. Shaw
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
A trek across the vast openness of the Midwest used to require numerous maps and careful attention to road signs; however, with the advancement of technology and the friendly voice of a GPS, maps are no longer needed. The satellite technology required to operate a GPS is out of this world, literally; but it's the students trained at the 392nd Training Squadron here who take part in making sure technology like this does not fail. 

"The 392nd TRS prepares (Airmen) for a career in space and missiles," said Capt. Craig Roblyer, a 392nd TRS assistant flight commander. "The training begins with the Space 100 class in order to teach (the Airmen) a space background."

Space 100 is attended by both enlisted members and officers; however, enlisted members attend the course through the 533rd Training Squadron here. The 35-day course covers basic information that allows the students to understand the language of space career fields. Course subjects are diverse and cover an array of important instructional blocks including launch, missile, warning and safety. Prior to graduation, the students do not know in which section they will go on to have a career.

The goal is to make sure the Airmen know the essentials of each section so that when they receive their assignment they already know the basics, said Captain Roblyer.

Upon completion of the Space 100 course, those Airmen receiving a Vandenberg assignment remain with the 392nd TRS and complete a second training course, Space Lift Fundamentals. The two-week course is unique in that it is attended by not only enlisted and officer members, but civilians as well.

"The diversity that makes up the classroom environment enhances the learning process of everyone in it," said Capt. John Doyle, a 392nd TRS Space Lift Fundamentals instructor. "The enlisted members are able to learn from those officers who may have graduated college with a major related to what is being taught. The enlisted members are also able to give insight to the officers as to what being enlisted is like."

During this second course, students are familiarized with such topics as basic concepts, structures and mission assurance. The Airmen also learn about the validity of public safety and how it applies to their individual job.

The broad range of subjects covered allows the students to become immersed with knowledge of space related topics, said Captain Doyle. The course also helps the Airmen understand the importance of their job and how it contributes to the Air Force.

After the culmination of the course, students set off to their gaining units. The Airmen who remain at Vandenberg generally report to one of four units: 2nd Range Operations Squadron, 4th Space Launch Squadron, 1st Air and Space Test Squadron or 30th Launch Support Squadron. The majority of graduates however, report to the 2nd ROPS and directly contribute to the 30th Space Wing by supporting the Western Range.

"The (Airmen) go to their units and are heavily involved in ensuring the range is available to support launch activities from the operations group," said Captain Doyle. "Eventually the (Airmen) are combat mission-ready certified and are able to sit on console."

By having the ability to sit on console, the Airmen are able to communicate information to leadership to ensure the best decisions are made. The newly-graduated Airmen have the responsibility to make sure that any information regarding launch and aeronautical issues is channeled to the proper leadership to ensure the 30th Space Wing's mission is a success.

The training Airmen receive at the 392nd TRS prepares them to support their mission. Whether the Airman's job is to assist leadership with launch issues, or to ensure the satellites are able to command local GPS, the training begins here with the support of the 392nd TRS instructors.