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Bazaar of Falcons land at Keesler

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Devyn Waits
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

A group of falcons is known as a “Bazaar” and “Falcons” from across Second Air Force gathered here Sept. 5-8 under their commander, Maj. Gen. Michele Edmondson, to focus on the future of Air Force technical training and developing a Sixth-Generation Learning Ecosystem to better prepare Airmen for 21st Century combat operations. 

The meeting, known as the “Bazaar of Falcons,” after the numbered air force’s mascot, was an opportunity for candid conversations between the Second Air Force staff and leadership from the five training wings about Technical Training Transformation – the effort currently underway to modernize then transform Air Force non-flying learning. In parallel to this bi-annual event, for the first time ever, Second Air Force hosted analysts and subject-matter experts from each of the five wings in a separate venue to review how best to allocate resources toward modernization and transformation in the upcoming fiscal year.    

“We’re hosting this event to hold ourselves accountable for what we're doing with Technical Training Transformation, share lessons learned from each wing, and drive future milestones,” said Maj. Gen. Michele Edmondson, Second Air Force commander. 

“Training isn’t changing just to become better,” said Col. Nicholas Dipoma, Second Air Force deputy commander. “It’s changing us into a force that operates differently from what’s been seen in the last two decades. These transformations should be approached with an analytical mindset, judging whether an action is working. Those experiences must be shared with other units because the price for repeating a mistake is unaffordable.”

Leadership and staff from across Second Air Force shared unique perspectives from their experiences, allowing a crossflow of information and exchange of ideas. Individuals spanning ranks from staff sergeant to brigadier general freely engaged in conversations focused on enhancing base infrastructure, incorporating a warrior mindset and modernizing learning environments and manpower utilization.

The Falcons of Second Air Force identified opportunities to collaborate on projects to sync training activities across the five training wings.

The conversations in the parallel event included wing-level implementation plans, which will direct training groups and squadrons on how to achieve technical training transformation success.

Dr. Lynn Soots, 81st Training Group training administrator, and Maj. Joseph Smiley, 81st Mission Support Group deputy commander, each attended the parallel discussion, representing the 81st Training Wing. 

Dr. Soots explained how her wing takes on initiatives to reach Second Air Force’s goal.

“Some of the things that we are getting after is to make sure that we are flexible, agile and dynamic,” said Soots. “We are changing the classrooms to fit how this generation of students is used to learning, as well as the way that our curriculum developers and our instructors teach. It's a change that must happen across many different levels.”

Other wings presented their initial plans for Technical Training Transformation and the steps they plan to take to complete the Tech Training Transformation journey. The plans outlined   how each wing will modernize and transform their learning environments, training techniques and curriculums so that Airmen develop the skills to prepare for their future careers, as well as the future fight.

Whether infrastructure, curriculum development or technology integration is the focus, the Bazaar of Falcons discussion of Technical Training Transformation allowed wing leaders to come together, exchange ideas and emphasize the importance of a “learning ecosystem” capable of building enduring advantages in every Airman, based on how they learn.

The end state is to develop Sixth-Generation Airmen, who are multi-capable, resilient and ready to exploit capabilities across the seven operational Imperatives: OI-1. Resilient Space Order of Battle and Architectures, OI-2. Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS)/DAF Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), OI-3. Moving Target Engagement at Scale, OI-4. Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) Family of Systems, OI-5. Optimized Resilient Forward Basing, OI-6. B-21 Long-Range Strike Family of Systems and OI-7. Readiness to Transition to Wartime Posture.