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Second Air Force ‘wakes up’ tech training

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

Col. Nicholas Dipoma, Second Air Force Vice Commander, briefed an update on the Technical Training Transformations happening across the Numbered Air Force, March 22.

Second Air Force, under Air Education and Training Command, is responsible for basic military training and non-flying technical training for 93% of the Air Force along with joint, and coalition forces at five wings and 74 operating locations around the world.

The NAF is jump-starting changes to the ways they teach their 19,330 technical training students across 265 Air Force Specialty Codes on any given day. Leadership has identified target areas of improvement for technical training, including replacing an outdated legacy model of teaching which placed students in rigid instructor-centric, lecture-based learning environments.

“We are charged with building Airmen and Guardians with the right mindset, skills, competencies and critical thinking abilities for the future fight,” said Dipoma. “We’re not looking at transformation simply for the sake of transformation. We are transforming towards an end state, informed by a problem, and we are developing a solution to meet the warfighter’s requirements.”

Second Air Force worked with other NAF leaders, including those who oversee pilot training at 19th Air Force, and used guidance from the 2018 National Defense Strategy to determine what strategies could apply to the training conducted at Second Air Force.

“From those conversations, three things come to mind: first, to keep our eye on the end state and the problem we’re trying to solve. Second, to treat our instructors as the center of gravity, understanding that they’re the ones with the continuity to keep the changes going. Third, to pick a process early and stick to it,” said Dipoma.

Second Air Force’s answer to the challenge is to move toward holistic sixth-generation learning environments. These types of environments are student-centered, can flex to meet mission requirements and embrace the role of technology in the classroom.

In building a plan that spans the breadth and variety of the five wings, Second Air Force leadership understands that transformation will look different for each wing. It will be up to the wings to inform their path for the best way to move forward with creating sixth-generation learning environments.

“It’s our intent that technical training transformations suit each wing’s mission. Headquarters guidance needs to strike the balance between specificity in order to ensure clarity of direction, but also sufficiently general to allow the Airmen in our wings to solve problems innovatively,” said Dipoma. “The further we push into the way we train, the better our chances are of producing the next generation of Airmen who uphold our SECAF operational imperatives and deter our peer adversaries.”