Kisling NCO Academy recognized as best of best Published April 13, 2015 By Staff Sgt. Armando A. Schwier-Morales 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- The halls of the schoolhouse are crowded with technical sergeants rushing into classrooms, gathering books and learning from the best NCO academy in the Air Force. The U.S. Air Forces in Europe's Kisling NCO Academy was named the 2014 U.S. Air Force Professional Military Education Team of the Year. This is the fifth time in the past six years they have been recognized for their accomplishments in the development of NATO NCOs. "I think the students are the heart of our organization," said Chief Master Sgt. Amber Mitchell, the Kisling NCOA commandant. "They keep us going every day, and that makes the instructors and everybody around us proud to serve." Mitchell said the award recognizes what and how the team and school are influencing the sphere of leadership all around us because the technical sergeants are ultimately going back into their units and doing the things that make the mission go. Over the year, more than 1,100 students attended 28 academic days of training, covering more than 220 hours of curriculum, focusing on areas including successful learning, leadership and critical thinking. "I think it's about innovative practices," Mitchell said. "I think that is what sets Kisling apart. We do a lot of things that other schools simply aren't doing. We try to maximize the time of the students and the staff and come up with something like the innovation projects." The innovation projects challenge Airmen to develop new ideas for their unit while at the schoolhouse and were one of the many accomplishments recognized for the award. Another highlight for the academy in 2014 was the development of other countries militaries; Airmen from the academy not only traveled to other countries to teach, they also hosted international students from Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and many more NATO countries. "I love connecting with the students," said Tech. Sgt. Tamera Hall, a Kisling NCOA instructor. "The friendships and networking I have done here is going to last a lifetime, not only with my fellow instructors and cadre members but with the students." There is no stopping for the NCO academy, they said. They still have places to improve for the Airmen who will crowd their hallways awaiting training and knowledge.