Developing future mission commanders in the Pacific

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The U.S. Air Force Special Operations School (USAFSOS) sent a team of faculty to the 353rd Special Operations Group to teach courses spanning from introducing Special Operations Forces (SOF) at the most basic level to preparing future mission commanders for success Nov. 27 to Dec. 12, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan.


“Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) aims to develop their young leaders and produce a better Air Commando with the Mission Commander’s Course (MCC),” said Mr. Corby Martin, MCC course director. “MCC prepares prospective mission commanders and senior enlisted leaders for their duties and responsibilities in either a deployed or off-station environment. Students are briefed on the resources available to them by the group’s A-staff functions.”


MCC utilizes local experts to provide customized briefings and points of contact to work with when students are tasked with mission command. Students receive briefings on the various stages of deployment, as well as the off-station challenges of standing up an operation and integrating into the infrastructure of an already established location.


“There are a ton of capabilities I didn’t even know we had in the 353rd SOG,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Brian Collins, 353rd Special Operations Support Squadron Plans Flight Commander. “From the services that the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) provides to the financial management piece with funding appropriations, I think it’s important to share this knowledge with our future mission commanders.”


In addition to the briefings provided by local experts, USAFSOS faculty provided specialized classes on command relationships, anti-terrorism, embassy operations and hosted a mentorship panel of experienced leaders in mission command.


“Our goal is to get these future mission commanders to start thinking on a more advanced level and grow as leaders,” said Martin. “I believe the best part of this course occurs in the discussions between the students and mentorship provided by senior leaders.”


USAFSOS’s mobile education team goes to Kadena Air Base and Royal Air Force Mildenhall once or twice a year and travels to Cannon Air Force Base four times a year to provide a customized curriculum based off unit requirements in Air Commando development.