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Force generating military training leaders at Keesler AFB inspire future force

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Holly Cook
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

A military training leader transitions graduates of the Air Force’s basic military training and equips them with a better understanding of the operational Air Force. MTLs are force generators and the first link in the chain of command for Airmen in technical training. They are responsible for shaping the future of the Air Force every day.

“We’re using the term force generators to describe the work being done by our recruiters, military training instructors and MTLs,” said Chief Master Sgt. Erik Thompson, command chief of Air Education and Training Command. “Force generation is exactly their charge during their assignments at technical training. Their contribution in laying the foundation for tomorrow’s American Airmen and Space Professionals at Keesler (AFB) is priceless.”

Thompson visited the 81st Training Group Dec. 8 and 9 to see Keesler AFB MTLs in action and to visit the MTL technical training school. There, he witnessed how Keesler AFB MTLs are working to create a better bridge for Airmen development as they move from BMT, through technical school and onto the operational Air Force.

“MTLs are the connective tissue between the strict structure at BMT and the more academic environment at technical training,” Thompson said. “They are the critical link between the two and they ensure these newly-minted Airmen are upholding the standards instilled in them at BMT.”

During the visit, Thompson also saw how members of the 81st TRG continue to grow the MTL corps during the special duty assignment, and invest in MTLs’ futures.

“We want to borrow the best NCOs for three years to train the future force,” Thompson said. “But in doing so, we must ensure that once they have completed their special duty assignment, they are better leaders and Airmen than when they came to us. When examining the life cycle of the MTL, we must focus on four areas: assessing, on-boarding, developing and preparing re-entry to their Air Force specialty code. By focusing on these four areas, MTLs will walk away better leaders because of this assignment and will ensure that top-quality Airmen are selected to train and educate the next generation of Airmen.”

Keesler AFB is home to the Air Force’s only MTL schoolhouse.

“Keesler (AFB) stepped up to take on several initiatives this year to better our Air Force,” Thompson said. “From housing BMT to ramping up how we teach and prepare our MTLs to be force generators, our Airmen here have helped create the mold for a better dynamic of leaders who are critical to keeping our mission going.”