MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Approximately 25 current and future operations officers gathered Jan. 18-20 for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Operations Officer Course held at Millers Landing aboard Cherry Point.
The purpose of the course was to prepare the incoming and current operations officers of 2nd MAW for a job that requires balancing multiple factors to be successful.
“Operations officers are the heart and pulse of the squadron,” said Capt. John W. Pelzer, the air traffic scheduler for 2nd MAW’s current operations section. “They devise, implement and ensure training plans are carried out in accordance with their commanding officers guidance."
The operations officer is a billet in a squadron or group that is responsible for the day-to-day operations and the future planning of unit events and employment, according to Lt. Col. Scott Creed, the aviation policy branch head at Training and Education Command’s Aviation Training Division.
“Understanding the environment and the resources available to him, the operations officer is responsible for making the commanding officer’s intent a reality,” Creed stated.
Unlike most jobs in the Marine Corps, there is no formal education process to expose officers to the many systems and processes they must follow in order to run the daily and future operations of their units.
This is why the Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Lt. Gen. George J. Trautman III, mandated that operations officers receive more formal training. This was a result of various initiatives that pointed out a clear lack of standardized preparation for operations officers, Creed said.
Creed stated he intends to take the best practices from 2nd MAW’s course and expand them to meet the entire fleet’s needs.
“2nd MAW has been providing operations officer training of some sort for more than five years, and this course is the first step in making a standardized course that is relevant and timely for the fleet,” said Creed. “Primarily my job is to help develop the course to meet Lt. Gen. Trautman’s intent.”