The beating heart of the Air Force … squadrons

313th Training Squadron logo

313th Training Squadron logo

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A month after taking office in 2016, Gen. David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, announced he wanted to revitalize squadrons calling them the beating heart of the Air Force.

“We succeed or fail in our missions at the squadron-level because that is where we develop, train and build Airmen,” he wrote in a letter to Airmen. “Our service culture and traditions manifest themselves in the squadron because our Airmen most readily identify with this core fighting unit. Squadrons are the engines of innovation and esprit de corps. Squadrons possess the greatest potential for operational agility. Squadron commanders, civilian leaders, superintendents and first sergeants have the most profound and lasting impact on Airmen and families.

"It is time to revitalize the squadron as the warfighting core of our Air Force. Our vision demands that ‘squadrons be highly capable, expeditionary teams who can successfully defend our Nation's interests in both today's and tomorrow's complex operating environments.’ We will succeed only when our squadrons are ‘the cohesive, ready, and agile fighting forces that the Air Force, Combatant Commanders, and the Nation requires.’”

In line with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s vision Goodfellow reactivated the 313th Training Squadron on Oct. 23.

“Today is a very big deal, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this historic event,” said Col. Thomas Coakley, 17th Training Group commander. “We activate the 313th [TRS] to run some of the most demanding components of our mission.

"[Lt.] Col. [David] Sarabia, [313th TRS commander] and a small but highly effective team of uniformed and civilian Airmen will lead intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance Airmen through our advanced training courses. These students in grade E-2 through O-5 will master the advanced skillsets necessary for America to win her current wars and to keep the nation safe no matter what the emerging threat. Additionally, the 313th will help our military deliver on its top priority of enhancing international partnerships by providing training to diverse classes of international officers and other international partners.”

Sarabia received command of the squadron during the reactivation and assumption of command ceremony.

“It is certainly an auspicious occasion when you can be at the reactivation of a squadron,” said Sarabia. “For me, it’s an honor to be here with you at the beginning of all things. I look forward to working with each and every one of you. It is an awesome responsibility to be among you and I look forward to all the adventures we will share.”


The squadron can trace its roots back to 1961 when Goodfellow established a presence at Corry Station, Florida. After several name changes, it finally became the 313th TRS in 1992. The squadron ran for 17 years until the blending of the 1N2 and 1N5 career fields brought the training back to Goodfellow causing the deactivation of the 313th TRS, in 2011.

The 313th TRS mission is to provide world-class international, mission-qualification, as well as intermediate and advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance training to develop and inspire professionals for the Department of Defense and our international partners.