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Canadian delegation visits Barnes Center to further PME initiative

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- A delegation from Canada visited the Thomas E. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education Jan. 26 through 29 here to further an enlisted professional military education initiative between the Air Force and Canadian defense forces.

The team, headed by Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Fred Singer, the noncommissioned member of professional development for enlisted forces in the Canadian military, visited to review the Air Force's enlisted professional military education program and to ensure conformity between the services' NCO and senior NCO academies.

"We are going to look at the curriculum the U.S. Air Force delivers to its people and determine what is similar and what is different," said Chief Singer. "We will take our findings back to Canada and repair any discrepancies."

One long-term result of the initiative could be the interchangeability of the Air Force's NCO Academy and Air Force Senior NCO Academy programs with their Canadian counterparts.

The Canadian military forces version of the NCO academy and Senior NCO academy programs are the Intermediate Leadership Qualification and Advanced Leadership Qualification. As a result, NCOs and senior NCOs who attend the Canadian courses would receive EPME credit.

The visit from the Canadian delegation follows a November visit to Canada by Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy to discuss a permanent agreement to send Air Force senior NCOs to the Canadian equivalent course.

During that visit, Chief Roy discussed the concept with his Canadian counterpart Chief Warrant Officer of the (Canadian) air force René Couturier.

"We already have a partnership," Chief Roy said during his visit to Canada. "The Canadian air force has an instructor in our Senior NCO Academy, they send students to our Senior NCO Academy and we have an Air Force instructor in the Royal Military College. This is the next logical step."

According to Chief Master Sgt. Alex Perry, the Air Force Senior NCO Academy commandant, the relationships formed by such partnerships benefit Airmen down range.

"For our students, the lessons they get from a Canadian or international instructors are enormous, and they benefit from it when they deploy because they can better understand their coalition partners," Chief Perry said.

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