Extended drill emphasizes training

Unit members at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va. stood in line for lunch at the Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen (SPEK) that was put up by services members at super drill, June 10, 2016. The SPEK can be set up by 8 people in about 2 hours.  The apparatus that is used to heat the food is called a tray ration heater that is heated by a babington burner powered by diesel. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jodie Witmer)

Unit members at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va. stood in line for lunch at the Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen (SPEK) that was put up by services members at super drill, June 10, 2016. The SPEK can be set up by 8 people in about 2 hours. The apparatus that is used to heat the food is called a tray ration heater that is heated by a babington burner powered by diesel. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jodie Witmer)

Master Sgt. Scott Miller (left), a loadmaster at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va., receives his lunch from Airman 1st Class Shelby Alford, a services personnel at the 167th AW, June 10, 2016. Services took advantage of super drill to put up the Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen (SPEK). When the SPEK is fully put up it can seat 750 people. The food that is prepared comes in a unit group ration (UGR) that feeds 25 people. The UGR comes in three boxes and contains entrees, starch, paper products, and utensils. . (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jodie Witmer)

Master Sgt. Scott Miller (left), a loadmaster at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va., receives his lunch from Airman 1st Class Shelby Alford, a services personnel at the 167th AW, June 10, 2016. Services took advantage of super drill to put up the Single Pallet Expeditionary Kitchen (SPEK). When the SPEK is fully put up it can seat 750 people. The food that is prepared comes in a unit group ration (UGR) that feeds 25 people. The UGR comes in three boxes and contains entrees, starch, paper products, and utensils. . (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jodie Witmer)

Staff Sgt. Derek Meacham (left), a member of the communication and navigation section at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va., does a power on/ interphone operations check while Senior Master Sgt. Curtis Surratt, also a member of the communication and navigation section, watches, June 10, 2016. The maintenance group took advantage of the super drill my having hands on refresher training on the C-17 Globemaster during super drill. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jodie Witmer)

Staff Sgt. Derek Meacham (left), a member of the communication and navigation section at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va., does a power on/ interphone operations check while Senior Master Sgt. Curtis Surratt, also a member of the communication and navigation section, watches, June 10, 2016. The maintenance group took advantage of the super drill my having hands on refresher training on the C-17 Globemaster during super drill. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jodie Witmer)

Members of the 167th Airlift Wing paused during June's super drill training to stand in formation in front of two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, June 11, at the Martinsburg, W.Va. air base; marking the first wing photo since converting to the aircraft. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

Members of the 167th Airlift Wing paused during June's super drill training to stand in formation in front of two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, June 11, at the Martinsburg, W.Va. air base; marking the first wing photo since converting to the aircraft. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Rather than having two separate Unit Training Assemblies, one for June and one for July, the 167th Airlift Wing combined the two months into a single four-day block packed with training and various morale events, June 9-12.

The idea of super drill was to provide an extended time for Airmen to train in addition to ensuring that the wing provided the required 12 UTAs a year while also freeing up the entire month of July for unit members, said Col. Shaun Perkowski, the 167thAirlift Wing commander.

"It provides an extended couple of days for dedicated training," Perkowski said. "When we look at drill weekends, we see how they can get busy with things other than training. We wanted to make sure we provided a good opportunity to do four days straight of training and allow [everyone] a chance to dig in a little deeper than usual."

The wing used the extended training time as an opportunity to roll out its Green Dot training, which focuses on curbing all types of power-based interpersonal violence and is a new part of the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.

In addition to the Green Dot training, the wing held a mobility exercise that simulated the deployment process, cumulating with members of the wing's Security Forces Squadron taking part in a real-world, field deployment to Charleston, W.Va. for a several days of training.

In conjunction with the base-wide events, many sections and groups used the extended time to catch up on career specific training items or held their own morale events such as unit lunches. For example, Maintenance Group held a CPR training course and scheduled two entire days for hands-on aircraft training on the wing's C-17s.

The extended schedule also opens up time for the wing to put on morale events like the talent show that was held on Friday evening or the Super 5K on Sunday, said Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Glazer, the 167th Airlift Wing Command chief.

In addition to the morale and training benefits, having two UTAs back to back means that unit members will not have to report in July. This allows Airmen to spend more time with family members during the summer.

"[Unit] members always seem to be trying to find the right time to go on vacation during the summer; it always seems that the most convenient time falls over drill," Glazer said. "Super drill allows our families to have a free month to do what they want as a family without worrying about scheduling around drill."

Perkowski emphasized that feedback on the value of events like super drill is important to determine whether or not they should continue.

"The questions I ask commanders and first sergeants are whether or not it is value added and should it be continued next year," Perkowski said. "We are soliciting feedback; [Airmen should] work it up through their chain or email me directly."