Some Personal Recollections from Al Mayott
275X0 Career Field History
A 507th TAIRCW/Air Training Command Perspective
Written by Al Mayott
In the summer of 1974, I rotated from a communications squadron in Thailand (as a 304X4) to the 507 Tactical Air Control Wing (TAIRCW), Shaw AFB, SC. Being a TSgt., the only available slot for me was in the Stan/Eval shop as a ROMAD Stan/Eval. At that time I couldn't spell ROMAD. I had no idea what a ROMAD was or what he did. Regardless, this was the job I was given. I was tasked to develop a ROMAD Stan/Eval program for all the ROMADs assigned to the wing and randomly evaluate some of them. This, in itself, was a strong case for a new ROMAD career field.
In the summer of 1975, Col. Ruhman, Assistant Director of Operations/Ground, tasked me to put together a team, representing the 507th TAIRCW/9AF, to prepare a presentation for a joint 9AF/12AF conference to propose a new ROMAD career field. Because of my lack of experience as a ROMAD, I tried to persuade Col. Ruhman to assign this task to someone with more experience. Because of my rank, he insisted that I gather the team and develop our proposal. The 507th TAIRCW team consisted of: Col. Ruhman; TSgt. Alan F. Mayott, Wing Stan/Eval; SSgt. Gary Dotson, Wing ROMAD Training; SSgt. Lacy Foley, 21st TASS TACP Ops; and SSgt Jim Blakeslee, 21st TASS ROMAD. At the joint 9AF/12AF/AFMPC conference, I presented my specific case to show the injustice of assigning 304X4s with no ROMAD experience to ROMAD slots. These same team members attended several follow-on conferences to develop the AFR 39-1 Job Description for the new ROMAD career field.
After the job description was developed for the new career field, a call went out for volunteers to develop the initial career field training at Keesler and Hurlburt Field. I volunteered and was accepted for instructor duty at Keesler AFB, MS, to develop the initial training for the new career field and be an instructor. I was reassigned to Keesler AFB, MS, in December 1976. The first class was to start in the summer of 1977. The initial training cadre was TSgt. Ernie Fowler, TSgt. Al Mayott, SSgt. Archie Brown, and Sgt. Audrey Fowler. We developed all of the training material, acquired and installed the MRC-107/108 Communications pallets, and prepared the classrooms for the training to start. We started on schedule. Due to the efforts of this team, we went from nothing to full start in less than 6 months. Keep in mind, the AGOS team was developing the field training simultaneously at Hurlburt Field. Although I'm familiar with the TAC portion of the training, I will not address their efforts because I was not there.
The training sequence that was finally implemented consisted of 14 weeks of training; 8 weeks at Keesler for initial ROMAD training, 2 weeks at Fairchild AFB, WA, for basic survival training, and 4 weeks at Hurlburt Field for TACP field training.
During the initial training of the first 275X0 class, I was promoted to MSgt. and assigned from instructor duty to Career Development Course (CDC) Writer. Again, I was given less than 6 months to write the 5-level CDCs for the new 275X0-career field. With the help of Archie Brown, who wrote the Communications Procedures volume, we met the time limit with the 27550 CDC material being printed on time to develop the initial Specialty Knowledge Test (SKT) for the new 275X0 career field.
The team that wrote the first SKT test for promotion to SSgt./TSgt. was MSgt. Perry Keiser, AAC; MSgt. Paul Delp, TAC; MSgt. Bobby Mack, TAC, and MSgt. Al Mayott, ATC. As the CDC writer, I was on all of the SKT writing teams up to 1980.
With the initial 27530 training flowing, improvements to the training sequence were being considered. In 1979, MSgt. Jim Nothstein, the ATC Course Supervisor at Keesler was working with ATC headquarters and AGOS to consolidate the 27530 training at Hurlburt Field. The consolidation move from Keesler to Hurlburt Field was accomplished in the summer of 1980. This change consolidated all of the 27530 training at Hurlburt Field with follow-on training to basic survival school after Hurlburt. Subsequently, basic survival skills were incorporated into the field training, which eliminated the need to send the students to basic survival school. The CDC writer also moved to Hurlburt with the 27530 course to consolidate all 275X0 training at Hurlburt Field. The first NCOIC/Commandant of the consolidated 27530 course at Hurlburt Field was MSgt. Jim Nothstein. The NCOIC of the TAC Instructors was MSgt. Bobby Mack.
In 1981, a proposal was being developed to allow TAC to assume all training responsibility for the 27530 training. The reason for this proposal was that TAC, through AGOS, was providing most of the material and financial support for the consolidated 27530 school. A meeting was set up at Keesler AFB between ATC and TAC representatives. The attendees were Col. Adams, AGOS Commander; LtCol. Atkinson, AGOS ALO/TACP Training; SMSgt. Al Mayott, ATC 27530 Course Commandant; and MSgt. Jim Nothstein, ATC CDC Writer. The proposal was not accepted because ATC, being the Air Force's training establishment, was reluctant to relinquish any control of resident 3-level training.
In May 1982, I was reassigned to Little Rock AFB, AR, on a humanitarian assignment.
And so, this ends my tale of the conception and implementation of the new 275X0 career field.