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403rd Wing to beta test new UTA schedule

403rd Wing fiscal year 2022 Unit Training Assembly calendar. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Lt. Col. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

403rd Wing fiscal year 2022 Unit Training Assembly calendar. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Lt. Col. Marnee A.C. Losurdo)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

The 403rd Wing is one of three units in the Air Force Reserve Command selected for a tailored training and participation beta test, which means creating and conducting a revamped Unit Training Assembly scheduled for fiscal year 2022.

The other two units selected are the 315th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina and 477th Fighter Group, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

“The 403rd Wing has been selected to represent 22nd Air Force in this beta test because of our successful virtual UTAs and the lessons we learned last year,” said Col. Stuart Rubio, 403rd Wing commander. “This new UTA schedule focuses maximizing our Airmen’s time doing the job they joined the Air Force to do, by completing requirements virtually and consolidating our additional required training into the “super” UTAs. This plan also gives time back to the Airmen with two months where they are not required to travel to Keesler Air Force Base.”

The new fiscal year 2022 calendar is comprised of: one virtual UTA, one month with no UTA, two “super” three-day UTAs, and eight in-person UTAs. The super UTAs will focus on required annual training.

FY 2022 Calendar:

Oct. 2-3                                   Nov. 6-7                                             Dec. 4-5

Jan. No UTA                           Feb. 4, 5, 6 (Super UTA)                    March 5-6

April 2-3                                  May 14-15                                          June 4-5

July 9-10 (Virtual UTA)           Aug. 6-7                                              Sept. 9, 10, 11 (Super UTA)

“Virtual UTAs are not a new occurrence for the wing,” said Stacey Huffman, 403rd Wing Process Improvement manager. “As part of ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the wing had multiple virtual UTAs the past year and a half, and Airmen were still able to complete their training by teleworking their total force and administrative items.”

Airmen can begin logging their virtual UTA events October 1. They will receive a tool for logging those virtual events during the October UTA. Airmen will focus on CBT training such as: Force Protection, No Fear Act, Religious Freedom, Cyber-Awareness, and administrative products such as: performance reports, travel vouchers, Force Support Squadron and AFSC specific paperwork. They will also receive credit for completing required medical tasks such as getting a vaccination or seeing their civilian dentist.

“Overall the goal is to give time back to Airmen and their families with two out of 12 months that they do not have to travel for duty, as well as having more time during drills to focus on AFSC specific tasks,” said Huffman.    

Airmen are encouraged to complete any preparations or paperwork necessary to work from home/remotely for the virtual UTA, in addition to having enough training items to document 16 hours at home work.

Reserve Citizen Airmen should coordinate with their supervisors and commanders to inquire about telework options or to reschedule or excuse any UTAs.

“We understand that this is a change in schedule, so if there are Airmen that find themselves in hardship, please contact your chain of command to make appropriate adjustments,” said Rubio. “Making adjustments based on our experiences is what we do as military members. I believe this beta test will benefit the wing, and our lessons learned will benefit the Air Force Reserve Command as a whole.”