Second Air Force moves technical training into the 21st century

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Second Air Force is looking to the future and moving toward a sixth-generation learning environment across its five technical training wings.

Currently, classrooms, field training and curriculums are structured for 20th century warfare in a 21st century world.

“Today's learners come into the Air Force fully immersed in the digital world, but the architecture of technical training remains rooted in the past,” said Brian Davis, Second Air Force chief training officer.

Responsible for 93% of technical training in the Air Force, Second Air Force is spearheading plans to drive the transformation of technical training. In a new sixth-generation learning environment, flexible and tailored content will be offered to meet different learning preferences, styles and experience levels.

Adaptable learning pathways, versus rigid training pipelines, will improve training for Airmen and keep up with evolving modern warfare needs.

“Pipelines are a thing of the past. Sixth-generation learning environment offers learning pathways,” said Lindsey Fredman, Air Force Career Development Academy director.

Students will be offered training and education content through visual, auditory, written or kinesthetic methods. Airmen with different education levels and experiences can learn with more freedom and opportunities, arriving at the same end goal but possibly not in unison.

“So yes, there is still structure, but each Airman or Guardian has the control to be able to access their learning environment anytime, anywhere,” said Fredman. “Whether that's through audiobooks, videos, computer based training, augmented reality or virtual reality equipment, and more. We're trying to expand not only the way we teach, but content delivery methods as well.”

These transformations put Airmen more in control of their education with round-the-clock access to learning content, both inside and outside of their career fields, to expand multi-capable Airmen opportunities.

Developing a sixth-generation learning environment requires a holistic approach that touches every part of life at a training wing. It starts with Wi-Fi to provide seamless connectivity across the learning ecosystem from dormitories to classrooms.

“Human performance will be critical in optimizing learning ability, from nutrition, to resiliency, to sleep hygiene and proper physical fitness, we want to make lasting impacts on their lifestyle,” said Davis. “Infrastructure and technology modernization, as well as faculty development are also essential parts of the sixth-generation learning environment.”

Second Air Force will work with each training wing to identify target areas of improvement for its 16,300 technical training students across 265 career fields.

“It's time for us to transform how we develop and deliver the Airmen and Guardians we need for America’s Air and Space Forces,” said Maj. Gen. Michele Edmondson, Second Air Force commander. “We want to focus on optimizing the learning ability of the digitally literate generation to build enduring advantages in every Airman and Guardian.”