MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Marines are known for their
readiness in the air, on land and at sea, in order to maintain this constant
state of readiness, the Marine Corps relies on its subject matter experts to
participate in programs like the Flight and Combat Leadership Standardization
and Evaluation Programs.
The training involved in the FLSE
and CLSE programs includes attending the Squadron Intelligence Training and
Certification Couse. The course, which is held at 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and
has certified more than 300 Marines, is designed to teach Marines how to better
support aviation intelligence. Through the course, Marines become certified in
accordance with the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation requirements and
the Intelligence Training and Readiness Manual.
The FLSE program is made up of
pilots and enlisted aircrew and the CLSE program is comprised of non-aviators,
including command and control, aviation intelligence and aviation ground
to Barry Fetzer, the deputy director of 2nd MAW Aviation Training Systems, the
goal of the Flight and Combat Leadership Program is to provide the structure
and resources necessary for standardized training and evaluation of aviation leaders. This program is a foundation of the Marine Corps aviation vision of a single,
integrated aviation training system. Additionally,
the program ensures that aviation units are abiding by the guidelines outlined
by the Deputy Commandant for Aviation through the tactics, techniques and
procedures they practice.
The Aviation Training System is
intended to provide operational commanders with a current, responsive, relevant
and holistic training system, increase standardization within the Marine
aviation communities, develop concurrency management processes to ensure that
the curriculum courseware and training devices being used remain relevant,
address training and safety issues and utilize Marine Aviation Training System
Sites to facilitate training programs.
“The ATS integrates processes and
programs for training that institutionalizes operational excellence across
Marine aviation,” said Maj. Audie Cooper, the aviation intelligence combat
leadership standardization evaluator with 2nd MAW. “Operational excellence
involves increased combat readiness and preservation of personnel and assets as
well as risk mitigation through reduction of mishap causal factors from
supervisory, procedural and human error.”
The program allows less
experienced flight and combat leaders to gain insight and knowledge from, and
be evaluated by technical and tactical experts in their field, explained
“The program is so important to
our overall readiness,” said Fetzer. “We maintain a high standard and use the
team approach. If it is done well by the experts, it is going to be very
successful when it is put into practice by everyone else.”
According to Gunnery Sgt. Randy
Cardon, the aviation ground support combat leadership standardization evaluator
with 2nd MAW, the program allows evaluators to thoroughly test for the full
capabilities of a squadron in a combat environment by putting them through
rigorous scenarios and giving them both positive and negative feedback to
ensure they are combat ready.
“The program allows me to give the commanding
general a thorough assessment of how his squadrons can operate in a combat
environment,” explained Cardon.
The members of the 2nd MAW
standardization and evaluation cell manage the standardization and evaluation
process at each of the 2nd MAW air stations to include: MCAS Beaufort, MCAS
Cherry Point and MCAS New River.
According to Cardon, the program benefits the
Marine Corps as a whole by ensuring that the Marines can integrate effectively
in combat situations with other units.
we have a standardized way of doing things like training, planning and
briefing, we can send evaluators out to squadrons to look and give them
feedback on their plan, confirmation briefs and executions,” said Cardon. “If
we do that for every unit across the Marine Corps they are going to have a
reason to challenge themselves. They are going to get better as a whole and
they are going to strive for perfection.”