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552nd Training Squadron [552 TRS]

The 552d Training Squadron is a unit of Air Combat Command's 552d Air Control Wing. The squadron is located at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

The 552d Training Squadron was activated January 1, 1984 and provides academic and simulator training for all E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System mission crew members in nine initial qualification, seven upgrade training courses, Mission Qualification Training (MQT) and provides academic training for eleven crew positions.

It also acts as the administrative student squadron for all new and returning E-3 aircrew members undergoing Programmed Flying Training (PFT). Upon graduation from Initial Qualification Training (IQT), members attend Mission Qualification Training (MQT), which prepares them for worldwide employment as a member of a combat crew. After completion of MQT, newly qualified crew members move on to their final assignments in operational E-3 flying squadrons at Tinker and overseas at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

The AWACS PFT program is one of the largest training programs of its kind in the Air Force, and provides training for over 400 aircrew personnel each year. A recent initiative is a contract to Boeing Aerospace Operations to provide AWACS instructors for both academic and simulator training for mission crew IQT and upgrade training courses. Boeing instructors will provide a solid AWACS experience base and the continuity and stability needed for improved training efficiency.

The MQT program, an ACC "benchmark" candidate, provides new crewmembers the additional training required in a structured classroom environment to deploy worldwide.

With a cadre of 45 Air Force and 43 contract instructors, and an additional 14 support personnel, the squadron has about 200 students assigned at any time in various stages of training.

All Air Force instructors maintain flight-qualified currency in the E-3 and maintain a state of readiness to support real-world tactical deployments as directed by the appropriate authority.

All students are assigned to the squadron's Student Management Office. The registrar coordinates student participation at the formal flying prerequisite training courses such as U.S. Air Force Survival School, Physiological Training and E-3 Life Support Training.

The 552d Training Squadron gives new students their first look at AWACS and life in the 552d Air Control Wing, and it is here the new crew members are put to the test qualifying to fly onboard the E-3.

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