ROTC summer field training paves way for tomorrow’s Air Force officer corps



by A1C Christopher Stoltz
Air University Public Affairs


7/22/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Air University is hosting a series of 28-day summer field training courses through late August for about 2,400 Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps students, all rising college juniors from more than 140 detachments across the country.

"Summer ROTC training is rigorous training for the students and will mentally and physically prepare them for the challenges they will face as potential Air Force officers," said Capt. Anthony Lamagna of Headquarters AFROTC, Holm Center. "The field training provides a better understanding of the Air Force and gives them the tools they need to become successful leaders of their respective detachments. We also stress the importance of the wingman concept while they are here."

During their 17-hour day, cadets undergo room inspections and lessons on the Airman's Manual, the M16A2 nomenclature and Air Force history. They must pass physical fitness testing and participate in the obstacle course at Blue Thunder.
"We make sure every day is a challenge," Lamagna said.

During combative skills training, cadets learn hand-to-hand fighting techniques, including how to properly apply and escape submission moves and defend themselves in a close-combat situation.

At the midpoint of training, the cadets sharpen their skills during a 14-day mock deployment. Cadets are airlifted to Army National Guard's Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Hattiesburg, Miss., where they live in TEMPER, or tent extendable modular personnel, tents and experience conditions a deployment could offer.

The cadets must also support defensive fighting positions and patrol the area to keep their base safe. The wingman concept stressed throughout training is put to the test when cadets defend the base against simulated assaults from insurgents and improvised explosive devices.

The training has made a difference, said Cadet Christopher Jamison of Detachment 045, San Jose State.

"The summer field training provides cadets with an abundance of Air Force knowledge," he said. "The field training also has provided me with knowledge and skills which can help me in my career. It has also helped me build lasting friendships with other cadets by having us work as a team to overcome the multiple obstacles we face during our field training."

The training culminates with a parade ceremony, showcasing the drill skills the cadets have honed