Partnership between 171st and Marines Enhance Training Experience

Staff Sgt. Eric Thiem, a trainer with the 171st, and Master Sgt. Robert Souders, a Transport Chief with the 471st, teamed up to train the nine marines to become qualified bus operators. Throughout the week Theim and Souders led classroom lectures, testing, hands on familiarization, safety procedure demonstrations, and operation training of the 28 and 44 passenger bus. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Shawn Monk)

Staff Sgt. Eric Thiem, a trainer with the 171st, and Master Sgt. Robert Souders, a Transport Chief with the 471st, teamed up to train the nine marines to become qualified bus operators. Throughout the week Theim and Souders led classroom lectures, testing, hands on familiarization, safety procedure demonstrations, and operation training of the 28 and 44 passenger bus. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Shawn Monk)

Staff Sgt. Eric Thiem, a trainer with the 171st, and Master Sgt. Robert Souders, a Transport Chief with the 471st, teamed up to train the nine marines to become qualified bus operators. Throughout the week Theim and Souders led classroom lectures, testing, hands on familiarization, safety procedure demonstrations, and operation training of the 28 and 44 passenger bus. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Shawn Monk)

Staff Sgt. Eric Thiem, a trainer with the 171st, and Master Sgt. Robert Souders, a Transport Chief with the 471st, teamed up to train the nine marines to become qualified bus operators. Throughout the week Theim and Souders led classroom lectures, testing, hands on familiarization, safety procedure demonstrations, and operation training of the 28 and 44 passenger bus. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Shawn Monk)

Staff Sgt. Eric Thiem, a trainer with the 171st, and Master Sgt. Robert Souders, a Transport Chief with the 471st, teamed up to train the nine marines to become qualified bus operators. Throughout the week Theim and Souders led classroom lectures, testing, hands on familiarization, safety procedure demonstrations, and operation training of the 28 and 44 passenger bus. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Shawn Monk)

Staff Sgt. Eric Thiem, a trainer with the 171st, and Master Sgt. Robert Souders, a Transport Chief with the 471st, teamed up to train the nine marines to become qualified bus operators. Throughout the week Theim and Souders led classroom lectures, testing, hands on familiarization, safety procedure demonstrations, and operation training of the 28 and 44 passenger bus. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Shawn Monk)

Staff Sgt. Eric Thiem, a trainer with the 171st, and Master Sgt. Robert Souders, a Transport Chief with the 471st, teamed up to train the nine marines to become qualified bus operators. Throughout the week Theim and Souders led classroom lectures, testing, hands on familiarization, safety procedure demonstrations, and operation training of the 28 and 44 passenger bus. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Shawn Monk)

Staff Sgt. Eric Thiem, a trainer with the 171st, and Master Sgt. Robert Souders, a Transport Chief with the 471st, teamed up to train the nine marines to become qualified bus operators. Throughout the week Theim and Souders led classroom lectures, testing, hands on familiarization, safety procedure demonstrations, and operation training of the 28 and 44 passenger bus. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Master Sgt. Shawn Monk)

Coraopolis, Pa. -- The 171st Air Refueling Wing's Vehicle Management Flight provided equipment and qualification training to support requirements for U.S. Marines assigned to Marine Wing Support Squad 471, Detachment A, and the 1st and 2nd Platoon Truck Company April 18, 2016 through April 22, 2016.

This training is unique because normally each branch of service provides training for their own members. The deployed environment is often a joint service environment so gaining experience working with other services can be valuable. When the Marines with Det. A were in need of busses and qualified trainers, they reached out to 171st to help get the job done.

Staff Sgt. Eric Thiem, a trainer with the 171st, and Master Sgt. Robert Souders, a Transport Chief with the 471st, teamed up to train the nine marines to become qualified bus operators. Throughout the week Theim and Souders led classroom lectures, testing, hands on familiarization, safety procedure demonstrations, and operation training of the 28 and 44 passenger bus.

To qualify, the Marines needed to prove their proficiency of handling the 34-foot long bus by successfully completing the safety checklist, parallel parking, driving it through a serpentine course forwards and backwards, and navigating narrow turns and traffic during the road exam.    

When talking about his experience at the 171st, Souders said "I can definitely say that the professionalism and the attitude from the Airmen here was above expectations".

Each Marine received their certificate of completion with a hand shake from their trainers. Col. Gregg Perez, the 171st Air Refueling Wing Commander, personally congratulated the marines at their graduation ceremony. 



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