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381st Training Group

Inbound Students:
For inbound students, visit the 381st Training Group website.

Mission:
Train and develop agile space operators, mission ready nuclear operators, and missile maintenance professionals to counter 21st century adversaries

Vision:
Provide an invaluable foundation to Space and Nuclear leaders with world-class training, inspiring leadership, and irreplaceable camaraderie

Assigned Units:
381st Training Support Squadron
532d Training Squadron
533d Training Squadron
 

About Us:

The 381st Training Group is the gateway into the U.S. Air Force for Airmen entering the space, missile, or missile maintenance career fields. Located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the 381 TRG provides initial operations and maintenance training for the nation's space and missile forces. The 381st TRG offers courses to all Department of Defense activities; however, most students that successfully graduate courses offered at the Vandenberg campus move onward to perform duties primarily with United States Strategic Command, Air Force Space Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air Force Global Strike Command.

The 381 TRG provides training to Airmen entering several Air Force Specialty Codes including: 13S, Space Operations; 13N, Nuclear and Missile Operations; 21M, Missile Maintenance Officer; 1C6, Space Systems Operations; and 2M0, Missile Maintenance. The group also trains Airmen entering the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to perform their duties within these Air Force Specialty Codes.

The 381st TRG provides students with an exceptional 88-acre campus. The group maintains 86 classrooms, 60 trainers, and 54 of the 66 courses offered at the schoolhouse consist of Community College of the Air Force accredited curriculum. A total of 59 prerequisite, AFSC - awarding, follow-on, and supplemental courses remain available to students seeking training at the Vandenberg campus. Each of the three squadrons assigned to the 381st TRG have their own areas of expertise. The 381st Training Support Squadron "Spartans" offer the Basic Instructor Course. The 532d Training Squadron "Workhorses" provide missile operations and missile maintenance training. Lastly, the 533d Training Squadron "Centurions" focus on providing students with space training.
 

381st Training Group History:

The War Department activated the 381st Bombardment Group (Heavy) on November 3, 1942, at Gowen Field, Idaho. With little equipment and few personnel, the group moved onwards to Ephrata Army Air Base, Washington, in early-January 1943. Lt. Col. Joseph J. Nazzaro, a well-known West Point football player, assumed command of the new group on January 1, 1943. Nazzaro handpicked nearly the entire original cadre for the 381 BG (H) from the 39th and 302nd Bombardment Groups. The 381st BG immediately moved to Pyote Army Air Base, Texas, to fully organize and begin training with B-17 "Flying Fortress" aircraft.

The 381st BG received most of its air and ground crews while stationed at Pyote Army Air Base. Under the direction of  Nazzaro, (Commander), Maj. Leland G. Fiegel, (Air Executive), and Maj. Conway S. Hall (Operations Officer), the crews assigned to 381st BG began closely supervised phase training. The three officers pieced together a system of training that produced a highly-qualified and well-instructed organization which received praise for its "formation" flying abilities. The 381 BG (H) successfully completed its first long range training flight on March 13, 1943.

The 381st BG (Heavy) began its deployment to the European Theater of Operations on May 2, 1943. The air echelon immediately began moving toward staging areas while an advance party departed for England. The ground echelon began its deployment to England on May 8, 1943. After a general orientation course covering British flying procedures, the air echelon moved to Ridgewell, England, arriving shortly after the ground echelon. Nazzaro led the first 381 BG (H) bombing mission composed of 21 aircraft against an airfield at Antwerp, Belgium, on June 22, 1943.

The 381st BG operated chiefly against strategic objectives on the European Continent from June 1943 to April 1945. Bomb crews from the 381st BG saw action against Villacoublay, Amiens, St. Nazaire, Le Mans, Offenberg, Kassel, Leipzig, Gelsenkirchen, nitrate works in Norway, aircraft plants in Brussels, U-boat yards at Kiel, and ball-bearing works in Schweinfurt. The group's accurate performance against the shipyards at Bremen despite persistent enemy fighter attacks and heavy flak earned the unit its first Distinguished Unit Citation on October 8, 1943. A second DUC was awarded for similar action on January 11, 1944 during a mission against aircraft factories in central Germany. The 381st BG participated in Big Week on February 20-25, 1944, the Normandy invasion, the airborne assault on Holland, the Battle of the Bulge, the Allied crossing of the Rhine and the final Allied push into Germany. After hostilities ended, the group transported repatriated prisoners of war from Germany to France.

During their deployment to the European Theater of Operations, the 381st BG-H completed 297 combat missions, attacked targets in and around Berlin on 20 occasions, destroyed 223 enemy aircraft (officially; does not include "probably destroyed" or "damaged" figures), and dropped more than 22 thousand tons of bombs. The 381st BG-H was redesignated the 381st Bombardment Group, Very Heavy, on July 3, 1947. Second Air Force activated the group in the Reserve on July 24, 1947 as part of the 96th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy (later became the 96th Air Division, Bombardment). Second Air Force reassigned the group to the 73d Air Division, Bombardment, on June 4, 1948; the group inactivated on June 27, 1949.

The lineage and honors earned by the 381st BG-VH, were consolidated with the 381st Strategic Missile Wing (ICBM-Titan) which Strategic Air Command established and activated at McConnell AFB, Kansas, on November 29, 1961. The 381 SMW did not begin organizing until March 1, 1962, because the Titan II missile complexes surrounding McConnell AFB that the new wing planned to utilize remained under construction. Strategic Air Command activated the 381st Strategic Missile Wing to manage two of six planned Titan II ICBM 1 X 9 squadrons (one ICBM per launch site; each ICBM had its own control center forcing enemies to target each site to entirely destroy a unit; nine ICBMs per squadron) scheduled to become operational between March and November 1963. The United States Air Force released the first $1 million for construction of the access roads and utilities necessary for the Titan II missile complexes at McConnell AFB on August 1, 1960. The new Titan II missile silos, placed in random and somewhat irregular fashion circling McConnell AFB, began in the northeast and continued onward toward the south and west. The construction of the 18 Titan II ICBM complexes continued until June 1962 and cost roughly $80 million; the 381 SMW accepted the first facilities in February 1963. The 381st SMW accepted delivery of its first two Titan II ICBMs somewhat earlier on January 4 and January 9, 1963.

Strategic Air Command conducted its first missile competition at Vandenberg from April 3 to April 7, 1967. The 381st SMW won the Best Titan Wing award during the competition; its first of many honors earned during the following years. The competition included both Minuteman and Titan missile wings who competed in operations and maintenance exercises (later events would also include communications, engineering, security police, and vehicle support exercises) to earn several honors (winners had the highest combined scores) including the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy (named after General William H. Blanchard; represented the best missile unit in Strategic Air Command), the Best Minuteman Wing award, and the Best Titan Wing award. The 381st SMW would earn the Blanchard Perpetual Trophy in 1972, 1975, 1980, and 1983; and the Best Titan Wing award in 1967, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, and 1983.

Strategic Air Command began the process of inactivating the 381st SMW during 1985 and 1986 due to the deactivation of the Titan II weapon system. The 533d Strategic Missile Squadron inactivated on November 1, 1985; all personnel and equipment transferred to the 532d Strategic Missile Squadron. The 381st Strategic Missile Wing, the 532d Strategic Missile Squadron, and the 381st Missile Maintenance Squadron, inactivated at McConnell AFB, Kansas, on August 8, 1986.

On July 1, 1993, Air Combat Command transferred its 4315th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, California, to Air Education and Training Command as the newly redesignated command began consolidating its space and missile training at a single site. On that same day, AETC inactivated the 4315 CCTS and used its personnel and resources to establish the 392d Space and Missile Training Squadron. The squadron previously belonged to the 17th Training Group at Goodfellow AFB, Texas. On April 1, 1994, HQ AETC redesignated the unit as the 392d Training Squadron and reassigned the new organization to Second Air Force. In addition, the major command activated the 381st Training Group at Vandenberg. HQ AETC inactivated the provisional group and activated a permanent unit on October 1, 1994; the 381st Training Group. The MAJCOM assigned several new units to the newly activated organization including the 381st Training Support Squadron, the 392d Training Squadron, the 532d Training Squadron, the 533d Training Squadron, and the 534th Training Squadron. Although the 392d and 534th Training Squadrons have since inactivated, the 381 TRG continues to provide exceptional training to Airmen entering the space, missile, or missile maintenance career fields.