GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Air Force weather technicians participate in exercise Cadre Focus at the Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA) Sept. 20-24, to refresh and enhance their skills prior to deployment .
Cadre Focus is a week-long training exercise for Air Force battlefield weather technicians from Europe that are deploying in support of the Army. The exercise provides Airmen with meteorological equipment and tactical training, which is taught by instructors that have recently returned from deployment.
“The role of a battlefield weather forecaster is to support and integrate into Army operations, “said Staff Sgt. Charles Higgins, a Cadre Focus instructor. Higgins said that the training enables the forecasters to operate more efficiently outside of the confines of an airfield and to satisfy the Army’s particular needs.
Battlefield Weather Forecasters provide the Army with weather forecasts and conditions that are relevant to Army air and land operations.
“Exercise Cadre Focus’ goal is to allow for more rapid integration down range so the forecasters can contribute to the mission as soon as possible,” Higgins said.
The exercise, hosted by the Joint Multinational Training Command, currently has 13 students and six instructors .
Cadre Focus is conducted four times a year at the GTA.
The Combined Arms Training Center offers 70 courses using traditional classrooms, mobile training teams, distributed learning centers, and on-line courses, training more than 10,000 soldiers, civilians and partner-nation students each year.
"JMTC supports everything and provides the equipment,” said Air Force Capt. Shaun Wallace, 7th Weather Squadron, Detachment 2, the officer-in-charge for Cadre Focus. In 2006, Cadre Focus was moved to GTA because of the convenient geographical location, facilities and ranges said Wallace.
In addition to the instructors offering their insight and lesson- learned from recent deployments, the course includes familiarization with equipment, significant weather, geography and terrain features in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The most beneficial portion of Cadre Focus was the hands-on training and familiarization with various types of equipment that is only used during deployments” said Tech Sgt. Megan Curran, a weather forecaster from the 39th Operations Squadron at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.