Dragon Corner: “Q-Flight” creates and qualifies Air Force OJT curriculums

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Isaac M. Brown and Tech. Sgt. Demareo Smith
  • 81st Training Support Squadron
The Qualification Training Flight or "Q-Flight" is a qualification and continuation training flight located here.

Overall, Q-Flight's military and civilian personnel are responsible for the research, authoring, editing, publication and maintenance of numerous training products including: Air Force Qualification Training Package, Air Force Job Qualification Standard, various handbooks, and Career Field Education and Training Plans used by an estimated training audience of 43,000 Total Force technicians.

Initially established on 1 Oct. 1, 1971, as the 1872nd School Squadron, the unit soon moved from Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Missouri to Keesler in October, 1977.

In January 1981, Q-Flight was established by the U.S. Air Force Communications Command to support career field managers in developing qualification and continuation training products. These products are used to provide qualification and position training on various communications-electronics systems and equipment, or to occupy a duty position specific to the trainee's duty location.

The mission of Q-Flight is to produce high quality qualification and continuation training products for active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve members in several Air Force Specialty Codes including 3D0, 3D1, 1B4, 3A1 and 1C8.

The populations of these specialties account for roughly 43,000 members or 16 percent of the Air Force enlisted population.

Q-Fight receives its operational taskings solely from career field managers with the assistance of Major Command functional managers using guidance published in Air Force Instruction 33-154. These taskings are reviewed during a supported Air Force Specialty Code's Utilization & Training Workshops and Specialty Training Requirements Team meetings.

Once the tasking for a specific training product is received from the appropriate CFM, members of Q-Flight evaluate several areas, including technical documentation provided, and ensuring training is not duplicated elsewhere within the Air Force, Department of Defense or other Federal agencies. When a project is given the green light, a curriculum developer develops a viable and sustainable training product for the Air Force.

The projects are created into either an AFQTP or an AFJQS. The AFQTP is an instructional training package designed for Air Force units to qualify or aid in qualification, on a duty position, program or equipment item. The AFJQS contains a list of tasks required for qualification and/or certification and may contain elements of an AFQTP.

The process for getting these training products together is a very lengthy one involving a curriculum developer responsible for seeking out training references and writing the training tasks, modules and knowledge or performance evaluations.

Training Specialists are responsible for reviewing the products and providing feedback to the curriculum developers to enhance training. A support element is charged with ensuring the projects are meeting the established milestones until completion, answering questions from members of the Operational Air Force about training projects and maintaining the Q-Flight SharePoint site.

Another critical area of Q-Flight is the Interactive Technology Unit. In this section, training products identified as having difficult to learn aspects are supplemented with interactivity.
This interactivity enhances training and makes the trainee's experience as close to the "real thing" as possible. For many Air Force members this is known as Computer-Based Training.

These CBTs are valuable to trainees as they further explain concepts, given visual representation, and allow the trainees to see tasks performed on systems not available for long periods of downtime to facilitate training. The curriculum developers may work side-by-side with ITU in order to help boost the learning experience for the trainee on a product.

Projects are reviewed by numerous personnel until sent to the appropriate CFM for final approval. Once approved, Q-flight ensures the full training product is posted to SharePoint, and tasks, if applicable, are loaded or updated in the Training Business Area.

In short, Q-Flight is responsible for all informal training after Airmen leave technical training in several Air Force Specialty Codes.