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Second Air Force hosts technical training event

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

Second Air Force hosted Technical Training 101, bringing together leadership from across the Numbered Air Force for the three-day event at Keesler Air Force Base, March 28-30.

Second Air Force encompasses five training wings and covers 265 diverse Air Force Specialty Codes at 74 different operating locations.

Maj. Gen. Michele C. Edmondson, Second Air Force commander, provided her perspective and expectations for the event by laying the groundwork for technical training at the NAF.

“We are responsible for technical training for 93% of the Air Force … that’s a huge responsibility,” Edmondson said. “We owe it to the Airmen and Guardians coming in to capitalize on how they learn … they are digital natives. They’re all capable of the most extraordinary things, if only we can create the right environment where they can succeed.”

Through COVID-19, the Russia-Ukraine war, developing pacing challenges with China, social media growth and the natural disasters of the last few years, new Airmen and Guardians have experienced the world from a different perspective than the Airmen who oversee their education and they will face different challenges because the world has changed.

For Second Air Force, an environment of excellence is one in which educators and leaders understand the type of students they will have in their classroom.

Chief Master Sgt. Katie McCool, Second Air Force command chief, called on attendees to remember that the core of the NAF’s mission is to take care of the Airmen who make up the backbone of the force, including military training instructors, military training leaders and technical training instructors.

“Taking care of our Airmen is our priority and our force generators, MTIs, MTLs and technical training instructors are the ones most directly involved with this responsibility. We must ensure they have the tools to succeed,” McCool said.

Edmondson also remarked on creating a training culture that encompasses social, physical, mental and emotional strength.

“We need to create an environment to optimize performance in all aspects of their lives … it's about how well they sleep, what they eat, what the gym looks like. It’s about their resiliency training and opportunities to practice those skills. It’s about investing in them as human weapons systems,” Edmondson said.

The NAF is also focusing on their commitment to being the most professional organization in the Air Force, recognizing that the culture created in the training environment lays the foundation for a successful Air Force career.

“We have the opportunity to expose Airmen and their families to what it means to be a part of the Air Force family while they are in technical training. When it comes time for that decision for them to reenlist, we can know we’ve done our part to help retain them,” Edmondson said.

Other discussions during the event focused on how the five wings within the NAF are deliberately and holistically focused on transforming tech training to build enduring advantages in each individual Airman. The week finished with a technical training expo where each wing was able to network and discuss technological training advancements that have been implemented into the training process.

Edmondson left attendees with one final message and challenge. “Will your Airmen be ready?”