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Leadership course sets PACE for deployed Airmen

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar (AFNS) -- The first Profession of Arms Center of Excellence course held in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility was conducted at Al Udeid Air Base, Feb. 10-14, 2017.

The training focused on four professionalism goals including: sparking a strong commitment to the profession of arms, motivating a mindset that enhances trust and effectiveness, promoting relationships that strengthen an environment of trust, and fostering a culture of dignity and respect.

Four sessions were held in order to better target leadership experiences that range between military grades. The first session accommodated senior leaders, group commanders, squadron commanders, chiefs, first sergeants and their spouses. Additional sessions targeted grades E-1 to E-6, and combined grades E-7 to E-9 and O-1 to O-4. A session was also provided for company grade officers who had previously attended the course. In total, 457 service members across the Air Force, Navy and Army attended the training.

The training sessions were intended to inspire optimism in relation to the attendee’s individual and professional lives, while the course itself was designed to help individuals focus on exemplifying a more attuned version of themselves, as well as those around them.

“It is about human to human interaction and can be extremely beneficial to Airmen at Al Udeid because of the constant rotation of members,” said Senior Master Sgt. Tracey Booth, the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent. “Every time a new Airman arrives here, you have to rebuild that trust in leadership.”

Being the first PACE course held in theater, it was a historic milestone towards enhancing productivity in deployed units and supporting warfighters.

“We are the best Air Force in the world, but does that mean we can’t be better?” said Lt. Col. George Sanderlin, the PACE course senior professionalism instructor. “Leadership is a mountain without a top because it doesn’t matter how good you are, there is always one more step you can take to be better.”

Booth added that giving Airmen the opportunity to attend this training at Al Udeid AB assists with a number of communicational facets, allowing Airmen to take the knowledge home with them and utilize it in their everyday life wherever they may be stationed.

Part of this lies in that PACE also identifies personal skills that may guide healthy relationships at work, home and within the individuals’ local community.

“This is the first PACE course I have attended and I found that it provided good communication tools to better yourself as a leader,” said Master Sgt. Herb Williams, a 379th Air Expeditionary Wing inspection planner. “Through introspection, you can get past your personal communication barriers, and at the end of the day it will make a difference in your leadership evolution.”

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