Missile Initial Qualification Training-Initial Skills Training (IQT-IST)
In the very early 1960s, when the Air Force’s ICBM squadrons were being activated, missileers were assigned to the 4315th Student Squadron at Vandenberg AFB for administrative purposes but were trained in the 576th Strategic Missile Squadron (for Atlas), 395th Missile Training Squadron (for Titan) and 394th Missile Training Squadron (for Minuteman). In May 1963, SAC transferred the training mission to the 4315th, renamed a Combat Crew Training Squadron as a result. Individual training was still performed by ATC instructors, but following that, crew training was conducted by SAC instructors. Initially, the program was called Operational Readiness Training (ORT), but by 1974, when ATC left the picture and SAC began doing all the training, the program was called Initial Qualification Training (IQT). The 4315 CCTS performed this mission until 1993, dropping Atlas and Titan I training early on, but soon adding IQT for Titan II and, later, Peacekeeper missiles. When AETC took over on 1 July 1993, the 4315 CCTS was replaced by the 392d Space and Missile Training Squadron which, as the name suggests, conducted training for both missileers and space operations personnel. In 1994, “Space and Missile” was dropped from the unit’s designation, and it was just the 392d Training Squadron (392 TRS). In 2012, this squadron was inactivated and the collocated 532 TRS assumed the training mission of the 392d. Sometime during 2010, a couple of years before this transition took place, the IQT name was changed to Initial Skills Training, a belated change that, according to AETC officials, should have been made in 1993 when AETC took over the training. Precisely when in 2010 this took place has not been determined. What is known is that Class 10-04 was called IQT Class 10-04 and Class 10-06 was called IST Class 10-06, but what class 10-05 was called is not known--it was either the last IQT class or the first IST class. Regardless, the change was nominal and nothing in the actual instruction or program changed as a result of the name change. The most visible manifestation of the change was replacement of “IQT” with “IST” on class patches that displayed more than just the class number on them. No class patches are known to exist for any Atlas or Titan classes, not even Titan II, which graduated its last class in the early 1980s. This likely means that the first ICBM class patches were not created until the late 1980s or very early 1990s. They have now become so popular that some classes even have official and unofficial class patches!