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Cannon behind the scenes: training our troops

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal
  • 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
*This feature is the fifth in a series of Air Commando highlights at Cannon.

In a small classroom, six Air Commandos sit at a half-squared table waiting for their instructor to begin the course. The Airmen in the room came in today to learn one thing, how to save a life.

"This course is through the American Heart Association," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Miller, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Operations Squadron instruction section chief. "You will gain basic fundamentals on how to respond to an emergency situation should the need ever arise."

Miller isn't an instructor by trade. He enlisted as an aerospace propulsion mechanic working on C-130 aircraft engines. About three years ago, he took on this special duty to teach Air Commandos within the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group.

"We have more than 1,350 Airmen within the 27 SOMXG that require additional training in areas such as CPR, Self-Aid Buddy Care, mission orientation, crane and maintenance engine run," said Miller. "I take pride in the fact that I'm teaching our personnel skills they can utilize on or off duty, at their home station or in a deployed environment."

Miller is one of four instructors in the 27 SOMXG who teach all additional courses within their squadron. He teaches roughly four classes per week, averaging six students per class.

"I love when I get questions I just don't know the answer to," said Miller. "It gives me the opportunity to reach out to other squadrons, like the 27th Special Operations Medical Group, and interact with people that as a maintainer I might not have had the chance to."

The instructors go through training within the 27 SOMDG to earn certification to teach CPR and Self-Aid Buddy Care courses to Air Commandos within their group.

"Another huge benefit of having this additional training as a trainer, is finding out the rules and regulations of ancillary services provided on base," said Miller. "Obviously I'm not a health professional, however, we are trained by people who know what they are doing and set us up for success with our troops."

By the end of the CPR course, Miller asked 18 questions pertaining to all the material covered and received 18 correct responses from his students.

"That is the most reassuring sign for me as an instructor," said Miller. "Knowing that what I am teaching is being absorbed and hopefully if and when the time comes, can be used properly to save lives."