MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) --
The Air Force Officer Training School moved one step closer to complete total force integration with its first simultaneous graduation of active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard officer trainees here, Oct. 10.
The first graduating class of fiscal year 2015, which consisted of 193 new second lieutenants, included 73 active duty and 12 reservist completing Basic Officer Training (BOT) and 108 ANG officers completing the Academy of Military Science (AMS).
It was the first time OTS ran through its new eight-week curriculum for both active-duty and ANG officer trainees in parallel, which included combined lecture sessions and parade and drill training. The previous courses were 9.5 weeks for active duty and six weeks for ANG.
"The simultaneous training provided the same great training to two great officer candidate groups," said Col. Scott Lockwood, the OTS commandant.
Total force integration is evident in the makeup of OTS staff and command positions. Lockwood is the second ANG officer to hold the position of commandant, which rotates between an active-duty and an ANG officer. Additionally, active-duty and ANG trainees are instructed by an integrated staff representing all Air Force components.
While this is the first time active-duty and ANG students have shared a common eight-week curriculum and graduated as one class, the ANG has been commissioning its officers at Maxwell AFB for the past five years.
In 2009, the Guard moved AMS, its commissioning school, to the OTS from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee. The move came three years after former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley expressed his vision of a "shared common experience" at a single location for active-duty, Reserve and Air Guard officer trainees.
Lockwood agreed with the concept, calling it "one furnace, one metal."
"Currently, with the increased focus on the total force in Air Force missions, OTS is working to merge BOT and AMS programs and training into a singular OTS culture, setting the stage for working and cooperating as a total force from the inception of an officer's career," he said.
That proposal is being looked at by the director of the ANG, the adjutants general of each state and territory, and Gen. Robin Rand, the commander of the Air Education and Training Command, Lockwood said.
In fiscal year 2014, OTS commissioned 748 second lieutenants and trained more than 1,300 officers through its Commissioned Officer Training and Reserve COT programs. AMS commissioned 511 Guard officers during that same time period.