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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: WESS XXII - ES Training Opportunity for SER
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husker
Forum Regular

Posts: 159
Unit: NHQ-007

« on: October 05, 2018, 11:35:58 PM »

Alabama wing has announced a new cycle of the WESS program on http://WESS.alwg.us. The training is open to all CAP members per the activity announcement http://wess.alwg.us/systems/file_download.ashx?pg=67&ver=9 and interested cadets and senior members are encouraged to participate.

This is our program's 22nd year of task based training.  The program was started as the original test bed for the ES curriculum project, and has since grown to be one of the largest Wing based ES training programs in CAP.  Last year, we averaged almost 200 participants each training weekend, and we had members from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia Wings participate.  This year, we will again be offering courses in Mission Aircrew (AP, Scanner, and Observer/Pilot tracks), Ground Team (Basic, Advanced, and Ground Team Leader tracks), Mission Management, Mission Radio Operator, and Wilderness Advanced First Aid.
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Michael Long, Lt Col CAP
Deputy Director, National Emergency Services Academy
nesa.cap.gov
mlong (at) nesa.cap.gov
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,257

« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2018, 08:16:03 PM »

^^^ Its great, its wonderful.

That being said, there are still so many folks who can't give up 5 weekends if all they need is one thing. Mission Scanner, AP, etc.

Maybe it will be changed this year (?) but last year I asked if someone could just attend weekends 2 and 3, for example, just to get Mission Observer or whatever, since that is the two weekends its taught. And was told no, you must attend all 5 weekends.

It also doesn't help that the polo uniform is not allowed.

My Squadron is about to revamp, and get as much in-house training as possible. Give folks options and get them trained. Mission Scanner, for example, is easily taught on a Saturday, or maybe three Tuesday nights, and then fly the next Saturday the sorties to get them signed off.
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MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
husker
Forum Regular

Posts: 159
Unit: NHQ-007

« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2018, 10:08:35 PM »

Yes, you posted the same questions last year, and our schedule remains the same this year.  One point, however - all schools are five weekends long.  In your example, Mission Observer is taught across all weekends, not just specific ones.  All courses of study have four training weekends, and the last weekend is a make up task and GRADEX weekend.

It will remain so as such as long as I am responsible for the program.  Our goal at WESS is to provide the organization and our customers the best trained personnel possible.  If a member wants to get a rating in the shortest time possible, only doing the minimum required, then WESS is probably not the program for them.  All tasks at WESS are evaluated to the national standard/task guide, and that simply takes time. 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 10:11:45 PM by husker » Logged
Michael Long, Lt Col CAP
Deputy Director, National Emergency Services Academy
nesa.cap.gov
mlong (at) nesa.cap.gov
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,257

« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2018, 11:48:47 PM »


If a member wants to get a rating in the shortest time possible, only doing the minimum required, then WESS is probably not the program for them.  All tasks at WESS are evaluated to the national standard/task guide, and that simply takes time.

I'll try not to take that as an insult into how we do things here locally. HA!

If folks have already studied the Mission Task Guides, and have a good familiarity with it, and during their studies have emailed me or others any questions ... then yes ... we can meet with a group on an all day Saturday session and easily "review" all the information and make sure they have a full understanding of it before signing off their SQTR sheets. The key is to have everyone do their homework ahead of time. If they don't, then sure, we'll finish up next Saturday.

WESS is great, its fabulous ... but please don't go down that road of thinking WESS graduates are the cream of the crop and better than all others. There are multiple roads to "quality" training that are equally as viable.
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MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,133
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2018, 04:01:35 AM »


If a member wants to get a rating in the shortest time possible, only doing the minimum required, then WESS is probably not the program for them.  All tasks at WESS are evaluated to the national standard/task guide, and that simply takes time.

I'll try not to take that as an insult into how we do things here locally. HA!

If folks have already studied the Mission Task Guides, and have a good familiarity with it, and during their studies have emailed me or others any questions ... then yes ... we can meet with a group on an all day Saturday session and easily "review" all the information and make sure they have a full understanding of it before signing off their SQTR sheets. The key is to have everyone do their homework ahead of time. If they don't, then sure, we'll finish up next Saturday.

WESS is great, its fabulous ... but please don't go down that road of thinking WESS graduates are the cream of the crop and better than all others. There are multiple roads to "quality" training that are equally as viable.


I never thought of it in that light.  I suppose being good at playing "Arma" and "Civ" will let me exempt ACSC and War College (too long/didn't read) and being good at air to air PC sims should let LT Jek Porkins skip F-22 upgrade training (read the manuals on the flight to Florida, just give me the check ride Sir and post my PCS). TLC should be a 2 hour class, too...

/sarcasm off/   :D


eTodd, I usually agree with so many of your very good points, but I just can't get behind you on this, as my experience has brought me also to look askance at the lowest common denominator approach.  Husker and co. are not alone in their approach in truly testing (not just "reviewing") to standards (coupled with PRACTICE), and although I've never attended WESS I see a marked, significant difference between their graduates and the guys who I later find to have been paper whipped over a short weekend. He's not being elitist, as you seem to feel. He and his team are applying decades of experience in ES training.

Here's an assertion which you won't like (and will probably find elitist unfortunately): I have found the one day quickie Saturday Mission Scanner and the 3 day Ground Team 3 will generally be worthless baggage for many missions until they get sufficient OJT.  They have (in my experience) even been safety risks, and as an ABD/GBD/IC (in the past) I've been justified in grounding them on certain sorties once I found how superficial their training was.  I urge you to reconsider the lowest common denominator approach, PLEASE, in the spirit of Excellence In All We Do.

I will maintain that Mission Scanner requires 31 SQTR tasks (not counting FEMA courses). To (action verbs) Review, Operate, Discuss, and especially Demonstrate the tasks, on an individual basis (and not a mass walk through as a class which isn't the standard) plus to perform on two exercises is unachievable in one day. O-2018 alone (Comm) is a mission kill if you graduate a guy with a ten minute walk through using a picture of the radio control panel, rather than spend EFFECTIVE time in the aircraft actually walking him through using it (and when I say "mission kill", that means that the quick flush graduate becomes a liability in the cockpit if they prove to be such a fumblenuts that the sortie effectively cannot communicate due to his ignorance). We just can't afford to put minimally trained people up, slowing down teams trained for an emergency response.


V/r
Spam


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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,257

« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2018, 12:30:15 PM »


eTodd, I usually agree with so many of your very good points, but I just can't get behind you on this, as my experience has brought me also to look askance at the lowest common denominator approach.

Of course I get it. Maybe I should have expanded my original post to 25 paragraphs to really discuss how we do things instead of the quick response. I DO NOT consider what we do locally a "lowest common denominator approach"  >:(

When I said "class" you may have been thinking a room full.  Last month the "class" was me working with one guy. LOL  Although starting next month I have three saying they are ready to start, but I'm guessing it'll wind up just being two. So yes, its very much one on one training, and if for some it takes 6 weeks, then we'll take six weeks. Makes scheduling easy, and no travel.

My point I still believe is valid that "quality" training can be done locally. Huge factors are an interested candidate who is a self-starter and will learn much of it on his own long before class begins. Another is an SET who will NOT sign anyone off until he is assured the candidate is knowledgeable and qualified.

Another point goes to retention. If the month after WESS, we get a new member who expresses an interest in being a MS , MO, or AP ... i really do NOT tell them they just missed out on WESS, hang around a year and then we'll get to you.  As soon as we can get them through level one, then get them flying!

And of course, recurrent training and getting people in the airplane as often as possible is JUST as important as the original training. Whether someone trains at WESS, at a SAREX, or locally .... if they don't practice those skills more than once or twice a year at a SAREX they are able to attend ... then its all ...

To me, the biggest factor, is getting folks in the plane as often as possible.  Memories and skills get fuzzy, irregardless of the place you initially trained.

So ... lets see how fast we can all eat up the 2019 training budget.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2018, 12:48:11 PM by etodd » Logged
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,109

« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2018, 12:41:35 PM »

So train locally.  WESS, NESA, or any other training activity has nothing to do with what is in, your
already submitted and locked down unit ES training plan for FY19.

I agree training should be happening locally, but there is no question that training presented
in these centralized environments is better and more comprehensive then what can be done
in meetings nights and even local weekends, due both to the experience and knowledge of the instructors
and the focus of everyone involved.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,257

« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 01:36:18 PM »

 Instructors. Well of course thatís the crux of all of this. Not every squadron has experienced and knowledgeable instructors in each area, let alone an airplane and pilots to fly them. So of course locally does not always work.
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MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,109

« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2018, 01:41:04 PM »

Instructors. Well of course thatís the crux of all of this. Not every squadron has experienced and knowledgeable instructors in each area, let alone an airplane and pilots to fly them. So of course locally does not always work.

So I guess you can't train locally, and you can't train centrally.

Oh well, there's always DDR.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,257

« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2018, 02:13:20 PM »

Instructors. Well of course thatís the crux of all of this. Not every squadron has experienced and knowledgeable instructors in each area, let alone an airplane and pilots to fly them. So of course locally does not always work.

So I guess you can't train locally, and you can't train centrally.

Oh well, there's always DDR.

You twist it. 🤣🤣🤣

My point was that WESS is truly perfect for those Squadrons without the manpower and/or equipment.  I never once said WESS wasnít anything but wonderful. I just admit getting defensive when it was made to appear that you could never be truly qualified unless you attended WESS. oh well. Weíve all made our points. Letís make 2019 a great one.
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MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,427
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 02:44:20 PM »

Are we done here?
Yeah, we're done.
Click.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: WESS XXII - ES Training Opportunity for SER
 


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