News: ADA downsizing creates need for 14T MTT
Story by Sgt. Kimberly Lessmeister
FORT HOOD, Texas – As the Army continues to downsize the number of Soldiers in its ranks, the air defense artillery branch is making big changes to the manning of its military occupational specialties.
Part of that change is happening by Soldiers attending a mobile training team reclassification course taught by instructors from 3rd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 30th ADA Brigade.
Fifteen Soldiers from 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade graduated from the second Patriot launching station enhanced operator/maintainer MTT course Aug. 12, here.
The decision to reduce the number of Soldiers in the MOS 14S, air and missile defense crewmember, is recent, said Lt. Col. Chris Matthews, the commander of 3rd Bn., 6th ADA Regt., which is a training battalion on Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for Soldiers either entering the air defense career field straight from basic combat training, or reclassifying into it after serving in another job in the Army.
Soldiers wanting to stay in the air defense artillery branch have the choice to reclassify to Patriot launching station enhanced operator/maintainer, known as 14T.
“The 14T course at the school is 10 weeks,” Matthews said. “The operational force can’t afford to lose these guys for 10 weeks, so we had to find a balance.”
Around October 2013, Matthews’ battalion received a tasking from higher headquarters to create an MTT to train Soldiers with the MOS 14S to become 14Ts in order to meet the branch’s goal of lowering the number of 14S Soldiers.
Matthews said he asked the leaders in his battalion to decide which tasks were most essential to become a 14T and how long it would take to properly teach those tasks.
The instructors agreed on three weeks and two days.
Trainers from 3rd Bn., 6th ADA Regt. taught the first 14T MTT here in April.
Sgt. 1st Class Tanika McMillian, a 14T and one of three instructors from 3rd Bn., 6th ADA Regt., volunteered to participate in the MTT.
“Basically, when we come down here, we teach a range of instruction that’s needed to function as a 14T,” McMillian said.
From preventative maintenance checks and services on the heavy expanded mobility tactical truck (HEMTT), Patriot launching stations, guided missile transporter (GMT), and missiles to certification drills, Soldiers learned the main parts of becoming a 14T, she explained.
“Soldiers are also taught how to perform diagnostics on the launching stations if faults are found,” McMillian added.
After the completion of the course, the Soldiers will be placed in Patriot units to serve as 14Ts at the appropriate skill level, depending on his or her rank.
In 69th ADA Bde., Spc. Steven Bay, a 14S with Battery A, 4th Bn., 5th ADA Regt., trained as a 14T in his unit prior to the MTT’s arrival.
Though he didn’t know everything about the MOS, he picked up more important details of the job while going through the MTT, which will benefit his unit, he said.
“I think it makes the unit better knowing that they can actually trust me with a lot more than they did when I first started coming over here,” Bay said.
The MTT’s next stop will be Fort Bliss, Texas, where they will teach Soldiers of 11th ADA Bde., which also falls under 69th ADA Bde.’s higher command, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
Date Posted:08.12.2014 17:39
Location:FORT HOOD, TX, US
Hometown:CHARLOTTE, NC, US
Hometown:FORT BLISS, TX, US
Hometown:FORT SILL, OK, US
Hometown:OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, US