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50th OSS welcomes new staff instructors

First Lt. Dillon Hagerty, staff instructor with the 50th OSS teaches students at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 6, 2018. The 50th OSS instructors provide the foundational and advanced knowledge necessary for students to become successful space operators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez)

First Lt. Dillon Hagerty, staff instructor with the 50th OSS teaches students at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 6, 2018. The 50th OSS instructors provide the foundational and advanced knowledge necessary for students to become successful space operators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As the space domain evolves, it is crucial for space operations Airmen to get the most current and realistic training to work in contested and operationally limited environment.

The 50th Operations Support Squadron is a component of the 50th Operations Group, which develops training requirements and directs support operations across eight weapon systems including positioning navigation and timing, military satellite communications and space situational awareness.

50th OSS instructor train space operators to be able to successfully carry out these mission sets.

According to Capt. Jeff Wagner, PNT instructor with the 50th OSS, staff instructors provide the foundational and advanced knowledge necessary for students to become successful space operators through Initial Qualification Training and Upgrade Qualification Training.

Within the next two weeks, the squadron will gain a total of 15 new instructors. Wagner, one of the 15, expressed his excitement to start training future space operators.

“As instructors, we are the gateway for Airmen to gain expertise and develop Air Force professionalism,” he said. “It’s our job to fine tune the raw talent into experts once they arrive to Schriever. This will be my first time as a teacher in this squadron and my goal is to have a meaningful impact on Airmen, and be the best I can be.”

First Lt. Simone Rhodes, GPS satellite vehicle operator instructor with the 50th OSS, is also excited to start her journey in the squadron.

“My role is not only as an instructor, but also as a mentor to the students,” Rhodes said. “I’m looking forward to teaching them all the technical knowledge of the systems and seeing them apply that knowledge. Knowing I will have a part in this process is very exciting for me.”

Before Airmen can become staff instructors, the 50th OSS and their respective squadrons coordinate to fill vacant instructor roles.

“To become a 50th OSS instructor, training review boards take place,” Wagner said. “For this process, squadrons submit names to the 50th OSS, and from there, there is mutual agreement of who they will choose to fill the instructor roles based on the Airman’s system knowledge and their leadership qualities.”

Rhodes explained how her role as a new trainer will continue to increase the effectiveness of the 50th OSS mission.

“There are always changes and updates occurring on the operations floor,” she said. “That is why it is important to stay up-to-date on what is happening and ensure we pass this on to incoming students. Having more instructors means more classes, which means more operators on the floor.”

The addition of new capabilities to the existing Standardized Space Trainers will also contribute to increasing the squadron’s effectiveness. The squadron will acquire these new capabilities early next year to continue providing realistic training for space operators.

According to Rhodes and Wagner, the capabilities of the 50th OSS are essential to the operations of the 50th Space Wing. From developing Schriever AFB’s newest space operators to establish tactics that will ensure America’s space superiority, the men and women of the 50th OSS are at the forefront.

“The squadron’s motto is ‘only the best come to the 50th OSS,’” Rhodes said. “Being a part of the 50th OSS is a big deal and an honor because we were singled out to teach and develop Airmen to be the best space operators in the world.”