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336th TRS rolls into new Sec+ course

336th rolls into new Sec+ course

A Security Plus text book is displayed on a table after the 501 Sec+ ribbon cutting ceremony at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., May 24, 2018. The 336th Training Squadron spearheaded a team of 23 individuals over the span of almost 18 months to complete the transition from the 401 Sec+ course to the new 501 course material. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Holly Mansfield)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) -- The 336th Training Squadron cut the ribbon on the new cutting edge 501 Security Plus course May 24, 2018 at Thompson Hall on Keesler Air Force Base.

A team of 23 individuals worked over the span of almost 18 months to complete the transition from the aging 401 course to the new 501 course material.

“We are excited to be here today to roll out the new 501 Sec+ course,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Schmitt, 336th TRS commander. “If you are going to be a network security professional you need to be held to a higher standard and I know that it’s a challenge down here in initial skills but we hit it head on. This is a challenge but it’s a challenge worth achieving because our nation depends on it.”

In a world where technological threats evolve at an increasing pace, the 336th TRS is leading the way in the realm of cyber security training.

“At one point in time the Air Force realized it had to up its game in the cyber world,” Schmitt said. “The conversation of strengthening cyber capabilities advanced to the point where we realized we need to up our game on the education side of things. Cyber is special. It’s a domain created by us. It was our brain cells that put it all together. The 336th TRS is the cornerstone of cyber security. We create the education foundation for all cyber security through this course.”

The team accumulated more than 700 hours of course development to ensure students from five different cyber career fields would be able to attend the newly updated course.

“We spent time developing everything for this course ranging from labs and case studies to online content,” said Tech. Sgt. Alan Gault, 336th TRS instructor and 501 Sec+ course project manager. “Between the 401 and 501 course they actually increased the course material by over 25 percent but kept the same amount of teaching hours.”

One of the many updates was the added ability for students who are accepted into the course to be able to access pre-course material from anywhere around the globe.

“The instructors recorded over 160 videos of course materials in house through the partnership of the 81st Training Wing Public Affairs broadcasting team,” Gault said. “All of these videos along with the black board material we developed make it so the students can start looking at it as soon as possible from anywhere around the world.”

We’re also excited because of how the format of this class fits with Air Education and Training Command’s vision about bringing about the Continuum of Learning, said Schmitt. This course format allows multiple methods of delivery, whether, in-residence or solely online, and allows for proficiency advancement.

The road to the roll out of the new course wasn’t journeyed by Sec+ personnel alone. The group partnered with members from the 333rd TRS, the 338th TRS, other 336th TRS personnel and other units around the 81st TRW to make the project a success.

“Between Faculty Development, the 333rd TRS, Public Affairs and several others, we’ve been able to make this happen,” Gaults aid. “It was a lot of relationship building between us and different units.”