Air Force scraps CBATprogram - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Air Force scraps CBATprogram

By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

September 3, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The Air Force has canceled plans for a training program that could have brought more than 14,000 airmen to Moody each year.

Moody Air Force Base was one of three bases being considered for the Common Battlefield Airmen Training program or C-BAT.

It would have provided weapons, survival and ground combat training to airmen before they deploy.  "Trying to stand-up the CBAT program was a terrific thing for the Air Force to do. It certainly addressed a need they had and identified. it's a shame fro the men and women of the Air Force who won't have the program. It's unfortunate for Moody, Valdosta, and the community that we won't have the program here," says Tim Carroll, Valdosta City Councilman and member of the Georgia Military Affairs Committee.

The plan was re-evaluated after a recent Air Force shake-up that led to the firing of the programs co-founders.

Instead of building a new training site, they will instead use existing training venues. 

"After a thorough review, we have determined the best way forward for our Airmen and the Combatant Commanders is to optimize our existing training venues.  Therefore, a new training venue is not required," says Air Force spokeswoman Vicki Stein through a statement.

It says, "Since the CBAT concept began in 2001 the Air Force has enhanced existing training sites and vastly improved the quality and quantity of training based on real-time lessons learned from today's fight.

Since 2003, the Air Force has developed and initiated nine distinct training programs and courses to enhance expeditionary skills.  Currently in-place venues, such as the Expeditionary Center at McGuire AFB, can fulfill expeditionary and combatant commander requirements with optimization of syllabus and also allows "just in time" aspect of training."

Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee were the two other bases being considered for the program.

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