Plans and Programs Division: Education and Training section accelerates AFMAO members

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jayden Ford
  • Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations

The Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operation’s Plans and Program Division has four main sections. The education and training section is responsible for the training and development of AFMAO’s civilian and military employees.

The section, led by Staff Sgt. Jacob Letkiewicz, AFMAO unit training manager, administers both common and unique training to the mortuary mission ensuring all members are meeting Department of Defense requirements, as well as all mortuary-specific requirements to be qualified to complete AFMAO’s diverse mission.

“My main duties as a UTM are to hold all military and civilian personnel accountable for Air Force directed ancillary training,” said Letkiewicz. “These provide employees with the means and opportunities necessary to retain and improve skillsets required to provide the best possible care for the fallen and their families.”

AFMAO’s mission requires its members to provide their services with the utmost precision and care. These techniques are engrained in those assigned at AFMAO starting with the training they receive.

“The training requirements for our members are more robust than most unit’s given the complex and unique mission of the Dover Port Mortuary,” said Maj. Monica Hottle, AFMAO Plans and Programs Division chief.  “It is imperative we equip AFMAO members with the most capability, for the nature of our mission requires that we perform it with unparalleled excellence to meet our vision of being the benchmark for mortuary affairs and honor guard procedures.”

The training section’s reach spans across AFMAO and touches almost all aspects of its members' daily tasks.

“The training section has a huge impact on the unit, from staying up to date on all mandatory training to keep your network access, to pre-deployment training required for all military personnel,” said Letkiewicz. “You need training all throughout your career to apply knowledge toward your career field and obtain rank-specific skill level and pre-deployment specific training.”

One of the largest focus areas of the section is the Force Support Contingency Training-Mortuary course, which provides Airmen in the services career field from the Air Force Reserve the opportunity to visit AFMAO in-person and receive hands-on training in the specifics of the mortuary mission from current deployed members.

 “FSCT-M begins with the first day, all deployers in-process and sit through a morning of briefings to prepare them for the stress and rigors associated with working at AFMAO and to understand the general operations here,” said Letkiewicz. “It then leads into a 5-day course that encompasses training on a variety of our operations here, work tasks and is concluded with a dignified transfer ground training exercise led by the Operations Support Division.”

As all other aspects of the mission at AFMAO, the training section also operates under a zero-fail policy to ensure every member in the unit meets and strives to exceed the standards set upon them.

“As a unit, we are entrusted to serve the DoD by providing dignity, honor and respect to our fallen and care, service and support to their families,” said Hottle. “Without our education and training section ensuring each member is properly trained and ready to perform their duties, the execution of AFMAO’s sacred mission would be severely hindered.”