Interactive gatherings bypass traditional auditorium events

FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. — The Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee recently held two core organizational events virtually that would fill an auditorium under normal circumstances.

The interactive gatherings online included the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s quarterly commander’s call, as well as the organization’s all-staff tactical pause day. They are the most extensive and latest gatherings of assigned personnel to be affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Continue reading “Interactive gatherings bypass traditional auditorium events”

The combat effective couch commando

FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. – “I forgot how to do homework. My back is killing me. I need to get off of this old couch.”

“Then you need to take care of that,” my wife recently told me over the phone from Missouri. “There’s no one there besides you to see it and point that out.”

“You’d think for a writer that I’d have telework down,” I replied. “I need to use a desk and a good chair. I’m too old to get by long with poor posture.”

Alright. In perspective, my aches and pains are small potatoes in this terrible pandemic. Hardship and suffering are rampant. And I was not battling the virus or at any significant risk, unlike our courageous health care workers and essential services workers. I was working from home, writing an article about how U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center are teleworking.

As it turns out, that and my hurt back all got me thinking about ergonomics. Continue reading “The combat effective couch commando”

Shared online workouts lift spirits during detachment’s home isolation

Video meeting

FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. — U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the Air National Guard training and education center in East Tennessee are not taking their current seclusion for the global pandemic sitting down but instead exercising through shared video workouts.

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s online fitness classes are a means to tackle the COVID-19 adversity together, said the staff and faculty.

The Tuesday through Friday, 10:20 a.m., workouts are challenging. Still, there is plenty of camaraderie and encouragement that radiates from the computer screen, tablet, or smartphone. The 25-minute Zoom meetings that began on April 7 are open to service members and their families and continue for the foreseeable future.

Continue reading “Shared online workouts lift spirits during detachment’s home isolation”

National Guard training and education center outlines strategic plan

The Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee this month released a five-year Strategic Plan designed to outline its priorities and lines of effort from 2020 through 2024.

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center will work on its main priorities: Take Care of Team TEC; Increase Readiness; Develop Exceptional Leaders.

Also, the Strategic Plan calls for the engagement of its staff and faculty to reach their full potential. Each priority identifies a team, and a deliverable date, as well as lines of effort, key terms, and focus areas for progressing into the future. The plan’s guiding values are respect, trust, and engagement. Continue reading “National Guard training and education center outlines strategic plan”

Guard members remember Oklahoma City bombing [repost]

I wrote this feature on the Oklahoma City bombing 10 years ago. Today (April 19, 2020) is the 25th anniversary. What the National Guard did on that day and following still impresses me. I am certain that many families, friends, and responders today continue to deal with the tragedy, and many Oklahomans drive by the memorial as a reminder to stay vigilant.

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Staff Sgt. David Humphries of the 745th Military Police Company, Oklahoma National Guard, stands watch while rescue operations at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building continue April 20, 1995, the day after the Oklahoma City bombing. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Al Newmeyer, Oklahoma National Guard)

Some describe April 19 as “the day the world began to look at terrorism differently.”

Hundreds of Oklahoma National Guard members will remember today’s date by how they responded 15 years ago to a homeland disaster, unexpectedly, and on a scale never before seen.

At 9:02 a.m., April 19, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was the target of a bombing called “the most significant act of domestic terrorism on American soil.”

A rental truck filled with explosives parked in front of the building exploded, destroying the north side of the building and killing 168, including 19 children. At least 850 more…

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Air Guard’s primary learning center transforms through homework

TEC Classroom Building

FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. – The Air National Guard’s primary learning and broadcast center is generating military education solutions for the total U.S. Air Force in immediate and long term challenges, said its Airmen teleworking in East Tennessee this week.

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center staff are following the guidance and directives of the CDC, the National Guard Bureau, and the Department of Defense concerning COVID-19, which includes personal distancing, teleworking, and other actions to stop the spread.

Continue reading “Air Guard’s primary learning center transforms through homework”

Is respect changing?

Editor’s note: Commentary by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith. This is the sixth article in an ongoing series in which the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center staff and faculty share their perspectives and spark discussion about the organization’s lines of effort.

There are people in this world that I’ve never met that would stand unfulfilled in an extended handshake to me as well as there are strangers that I would risk my life protecting. In my face-to-face dealings with leaders, coworkers, people, and groups, gaining and giving my respect lies somewhere subjectively between those poles.

I believe that understanding respect is an introspective journey to how and why we value others, organizations, and ourselves. As they say in the office and on the battlefield, leaders cannot demand our respect; they must earn it through repeated actions that support our ideals.

Continue reading “Is respect changing?”