35th ADA Patriot Master Gunner Course teaches necessary skills to train and certify crews

by Capt. Marion Jo Nederhoed, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
Stripes Korea

Air Defenders are gaining an overall understanding of how air defense is supposed to flow and how standards and doctrine is applied during a Patriot Master Gunner Course at Osan Airbase, South Korea.

The 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is currently hosting the course with students now a third of the way complete. The course is demanding and critical for air defenders worldwide and to the South Korean mission.

Air defenders from the 35th ADA, South Korea; The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC), Hawaii; Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Bliss, Texas and 1-1 ADA from Okinawa, Japan are participating in the course from September 11 – November 14.

“This course has definitely made me more knowledgeable on tactics,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Moscatelli from A/2-1 Air Defense Artillery Battalion. “I have a better understanding of everything going on. I will be able to evaluate and provide training to other Soldiers.”

The students have just completed Air Battle Management Level (ABML) Evaluation Process (level five of 16 levels of air battle management). The air defenders also recently completed Training Strategy briefs. The brief is a 12 month brief presented by small groups demonstrating how they will properly train and prepare their batteries for upcoming deployments.

Students in the course have been prepping for their briefs for four week working on them after class in the evening and on the weekends. The briefs require time management and the proper resources to ensure that the plans are flawless.

“I now have a better understanding of the operation,” Sgt. Thomas Manor from C/2-1 ADA said. “I didn’t have a good understanding of the big scale requirements. I now see things from a greater perspective and why things are done certain ways.”

The Training Strategy Briefs helps the air defenders to be able to provide their peers, commanders and Soldiers with a better knowledge base at every level to assist both Soldiers and commanders with their jobs. The brief covers a year-long time frame from rest all the way to available for the AFROGEN process.

Sgt. 1st Class Gregorio Estrada, the Patriot Master Gunner Instructor from 3-6 ADA located at Fort Sill, Oklahoma said he is excited to see the course come back to the 35th ADA after two years. He was a student in the class in 2016 and has been able to take the knowledge that he learned, use it in the field and now bring it back to other students.

As part of the course the air defenders also conducted a block of instruction on Patriot Missile Reload. On October 4, Delta Battery, 6-52 ADA demonstrated a Patriot Missile Reload for those attending the Patriot Master Gunner Course. As a master gunner part of the training is to learn how to train and evaluate crews and this provided the opportunity to watch the crew team in action and discuss the operations they had just reviewed in class.

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