Air Force Featured Stories

AETC’s Detachment 62 leading Agility Prime’s training effort

  • Published
  • By Dan Hawkins
  • Air Education and Training Command

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., has empowered Airmen across the Air Force to make decisions at the speed needed in a dynamic global environment, urging them to remove bureaucratic processes and eliminate redundancies to help the service increase effectiveness, drive innovation and achieve success.

In collaboration with the AFWERX Agility Prime program, Air Education and Training Command recently stood up Detachment 62 to establish Agility Prime training and certification standards for emerging electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft (eVTOL) vehicles.

“Our aim is to pioneer new training by collaborating with partners in government, industry and the military,” said Col. Don Haley, Det. 62 commander. “This initiative directly addresses Gen. Brown’s focus on removing bureaucracy to work more effectively with industry and improve the U.S. position in strategic competition with China.”

The detachment’s mission is to develop curriculum, drive operator certification standards, and train multi-capable Airmen-operators of advanced air mobility (AAM) vehicles. The vision is that, by 2023, the detachment will enable routine initial skills training for multi-capable Airmen-operators of AAM vehicles.

Through the Agility Prime effort, the Air Force is uniquely postured to drive innovation and build interest and confidence in eVTOL technology.

“We are applying lessons learned from the Pilot Training Next team in order to develop agile courseware through an iterative process,” Haley said. “Designing and developing a versatile training syllabus that emphasizes safety and practicality is a top priority. We are part of the command’s overall commitment to adopting new learning and training methodologies to develop and empower Airmen.”

The detachment will pioneer new training methods and standards by collaborating with partners such as the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, AAM industry leaders, Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX, and the Air Force’s major commands, Haley said.

“Perhaps one of the program’s biggest challenges will be aligning federal agencies, the Department of Defense, and industry with a practical certification standard for a new class of aero vehicle operator,” Haley said. “The team will overcome this challenge by driving collaboration among all of our partners through early adoption and operational use.”

In the near term, the detachment’s first objective is to develop training to support contractor-owne, government-operated and test activities for leading AFWERX Air Race contenders, Haley said.

“We must develop these capabilities if we want to maintain a competitive edge over our adversaries,” Haley said. “Linear learning and single capability Airmen no longer make sense in today’s fight. Future graduates of Det. 62’s training program will be ready to adapt, decide and act at the speed necessary for future combat.”

Agility Prime is the first program in AFWERX’s Prime Program that works to rapidly drive affordable capabilities and technology to the field. The Agility Prime program reached a milestone in May with its first operational exercise, flying a simulated medevac mission with industry partner, Kitty Hawk.