MLAT exercises simulate real-world deployments for Airmen

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Adam Goodly
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from McConnell's 22nd Air Refueling Wing and 350th Air Refueling Squadron participated in a Multi-Lateral Exercise and Training (MLAT) at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. The program provided a unique opportunity for intra-service training and to sharpen skillsets in various deployment scenarios.

During the training, Airmen from multiple career fields had the chance to experience how to perform their job while deployed. This included Maintenance, Intelligence, Squadron Aviation and Resource Management, Combat Crew Communications, and Aircrew.

"The MLAT is a tool for military personnel to hone their skills and prepare for real-world scenarios," said Lt Col Justin Skinner, 22nd Operations Group. "With a focus on safety and the opportunity to learn from one another, the MLAT program is a valuable resource for military members, veterans, and civilians alike."

Safety is always a top priority during MLAT. All the standard safety measures in place when operating at McConnell remain in place when deployed. Therefore, increased focus on operational risk management by crews and staff provide the right balance between safety and the achievement of training objectives.

The program provides military personnel with realistic training in an environment where small mistakes can be made without the consequences of an active operation. This type of training is indispensable in helping personnel prepare for future scenarios.

The MLAT involved a range of participants from the Air Force and Army in support of the Joint Special Operations Command; the primary interactions came from McConnell, where refueling was performed for C-17s and C-130s.

Robins was chosen for the training because of its proximity to exercise events and its runway length, as well as the exceptional support provided by base personnel.

Since its introduction, the MLAT program has evolved to include the KC-46 Pegasus. The aircraft's addition has contributed to the performance of both it and the KC-135, as personnel associated with both airframes learn from each other's operations.

"For all personnel involved in the MLAT program, seeing how their individual function plays a critical role as part of a larger operation is crucial," said Skinner. "Knowing where their piece fits into the larger picture helps personnel to better anticipate what they need to contribute and how they can be more effective in future operations."