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NEWS | July 15, 2019

497th ISRG hits refresh on training site

By Capt. Rachel Mamroth 497th Operations Support Squadron

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- The Air Force intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance community is embracing evolved training practices to equip analysts with tools that enhance professional skill, and rapidly help share information and expertise. 

The training shop at Distributed Ground Station-One (DGS-1), 497th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group, took hold of this momentum and developed a one-stop training tool that links DGS-1 Airmen, working 24/7 ISR operations, with instant access to accredited training, tools, and resources across the Intelligence Community (IC). 

“In order to be ready for [the future of tomorrow], we need to prepare our Airmen through innovative and modern training techniques that challenge them on an individual level. One-size-fits-all and group lectures do not capitalize on the individual talents that each of our Airmen possess,” said 1st Lt. Josh Garvison, 497th Operations Support Squadron deputy flight commander. 

Enter DGS University. DGS-U is an online training site that houses a repository of multi-media IC training relevant to DGS-1 Airmen, a live schedule of local course offerings, and training guidance and materials. 

“My flight is pleased overall that everything is in one place; it makes training a lot more convenient,” said Master Sgt. Brent Likes, a flight chief with the 30th Intelligence Squadron. 

Today’s analysts are used to having instant access to a vast amount of knowledge via smartphones. DGS-U is designed to provide two-click access to diverse training from short videos to accredited courses offered across the IC; capture interest in desired courses; and increase visibility of upcoming training events to maximize enrollment. 

1st Lt. Karina Palacios, a mission operations commander with the 45th Intelligence Squadron, credits DGS-U with helping her sign up for an ArcGIS course without any hassle. 

A review of the group’s training program that schedules large-scale briefings identified the need for DGS-U, not only as an effort to only sustain mission readiness, but to advance DGS-1 tradecraft at the speed necessary to stay relevant. DGS-U does this by providing streamlined access to a catalog of existing training and resources with filters for things like Air Force Specialty Code, experience-level, course type, and desired learning objectives. Airmen can shop for the training of their choice at any time. 

Master Sgt. Jeremy Tactay, a flight chief in the 497th OSS, liked that he could see everything that currently going on, and get his flight signed up for training. That ease of access is seen throughout the group. 1st Lt Joseph DeLullo, a flight commander in the 45th IS, noted that with new, flexible shift schedules, DGS-U makes training large groups much easier. 

Since its launch in February 2019, DGS-U has gone from a minimum viable product to an upgraded platform, adding new features like a video content page and upcoming training courses. 

“The DGS-U team is proud of the accomplishments and benchmarks we have hit so far, and hope that as we shape the future of DGS-U, we continually improve accessibility and quality of training for Airmen,” Garvison said.