Airmen prepare for spectacular, daring, dangerous: the drive

An Airman prepares to negotiate through a driving course as part of the Combat Aviation Advisor Military Qualification Skills Course at Eglin Range, Fla., June 18, 2013.  Airmen practiced shuffle-steering, a tactic where the drive shuffles the steering wheel, instead of the traditional hand-over-hand method, for better handling and to prevent injury to the arms in case the airbag deploys due to a collision.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Kim)

An Airman prepares to negotiate through a driving course as part of the Combat Aviation Advisor Military Qualification Skills Course at Eglin Range, Fla., June 18, 2013. Airmen practiced shuffle-steering, a tactic where the drive shuffles the steering wheel, instead of the traditional hand-over-hand method, for better handling and to prevent injury to the arms in case the airbag deploys due to a collision. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Kim)

A student navigates the driving course at formidable speeds during the Combat Aviation Advisor Military Qualifications Skills Course at Eglin Range on Elgin Range, Fla., June 18, 2013.  Students of the course practiced quickly familiarizing themselves with random cars which  handle differently to mimic a real world situation while they navigated through traffic cones.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Kim)

A student navigates the driving course at formidable speeds during the Combat Aviation Advisor Military Qualifications Skills Course on Elgin Range, Fla., June 18, 2013. Students of the course practiced quickly familiarizing themselves with random cars which handle differently to mimic a real world situation while they navigated through traffic cones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Kim)

A student waits to navigate a driving course during the Combat Aviation Advisor Military Qualification Skills Course on Eglin Range, Fla., June 18, 2013.  Although the cars receive a fair amount of punishment during training, there are experienced mechanics on standby who maintain the cars to make sure they run adequately, which often does not reflect cosmetically.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Kim)

A student waits to navigate a driving course during the Combat Aviation Advisor Military Qualification Skills Course on Eglin Range, Fla., June 18, 2013. Although the cars receive a fair amount of punishment during training, there are experienced mechanics on standby who maintain the cars to make sure they run adequately, which often does not reflect cosmetically. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Kim)

EGLIN RANGE, Fla. -- Part 1 of 3 about a driving course taught and facilitated by members of Team Hurlburt

The wide-open and desolate asphalt range vibrantly exhibited sage marked by dust, cracks and a myriad of tire marks, proclaiming loudly that the thousands of hours of arduous training taught and guided through countless years of combined experience will prepare Airmen to do one essential thing: drive.

Quickly, as training starts, brightly colored cones line the range as screeching tires indiscriminately fill the auditory air space while misfit cars zoom and urgently navigate through the course. The first part of the drive training module of the Combat Aviation Advisor Military Qualification Skills Course for driving started fervently after a safety briefing and thorough instruction.

The students are part of the 6th Special Operations Squadron tasked with a unique mission to assist and help partner nations by providing aircraft expertise from various Air Force specialists.

"Typically, in the past, members of the 6th SOS train to go downrange to perform, with partner nation air forces, armies, navies, in the aircraft they flew to further their maintenance, supply and logistics," said Master Sgt. Ace Jones, instructor and course facilitator from 371st Special Operations Combat Training Squadron. "[We] give them better tactics, techniques and procedures to prolong their airframes with the limited budgets they have."

The first of the three-part driving module focused on simply maneuvering around cones to execute tight turns and fine-tune handling skills.

"This course is defensive driving and does numerous things to prepare them for situations down range they may encounter," Jones said. "You need to prepare students to show them what it would be like and how a car handles and performs when stressed."

The introduction, meant to test how quickly a student can familiarize themselves with a random car, just scratched the surface of the overall driving lesson. The students eventually tested their tactical driving mettle in their next lesson: the chase.

Next Week: Part 2--Airmen learn to chase