HILL AIR FORCE BASE — A new program at Hill aims to equip first-term Airmen with the basic readiness training skills to operate more effectively in a future expeditionary capacity.
The program is called HEART, or the Hill Expeditionary Airman Readiness Training program. New Airmen will enter the two-week readiness program immediately upon completion of the First Term Airmen Center course. They will exit the HEART program with the necessary skills to prepare them for future deployments.
“The main goal is to support the base in getting Airmen out the door quicker when it comes to deployments,” said Tech. Sgt. Colton Marvin, who is spearheading the program. “Required readiness training is being done before there is a deployment tasking.”
The program will train Airmen in chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense, expeditionary active-shooter response, and hands-on self-aid buddy care, all required for deployment. In addition, they will receive 15 hours of required online expeditionary readiness training.
The Airmen will also receive instruction on basic entry controller duties and responsibilities, and installation entry requirements including how to operate the Delta Active Vehicle Barrier system in case of emergencies.
Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Walker, 75th Air Base Wing command chief, said the program addresses two key priorities for Team Hill: readiness and security.
“Airmen will leave the HEART program with the basic skills necessary to support our nation’s downrange missions while also giving them a baseline understanding of the importance of security at home station,” Walker said. “In addition to readiness and security, we are also teaching our Airmen life skills that will help them be successful as they progress in their careers. This program has been in the works for over a year and Sergeant Marvin has done an exceptional job moving it forward.”
The Airmen will have the opportunity to put into action their security training by supporting the 75th Security Forces Squadron entry controllers for a few morning hours Monday through Thursday for two weeks they are in the HEART program.
“This gate detail will help the SFS maintain security levels and will help reduce morning wait times at the gates,” Marvin said. “It will also minimize mission disruptions, as security forces will no longer need to pull Airmen away from their unit responsibilities to help with entry control.”
The first class started in July. There have only been three classes so it’s too early to know how successful the program will be, but Marvin anticipates the HEART program will become permanent with a long-term benefit to the base and its Airmen.
“I am very excited about the program,” Marvin said. “I think it’s worked well so far and it will continue to improve moving forward.”