Instructor gathers her resiliency with goats, chickens

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — With so many changes and demands Airmen face in their service these days, it can get challenging to disconnect and recharge to maintain resiliency. The U.S. Air Force wants healthy and ready minds, but it is also up to service members to find what best refuels them and give attention to it.

Tech. Sgt. Renee Wiederspahn, a professional military education instructor at the Lankford Enlisted PME Center in East Tennessee, decided to get some goats and chickens during the pandemic.


Air Guard education center now offers Airmen CEU credits for some classes

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — Students enrolled in the Air National Guard training and education center’s Instructor Certification Program can now earn Continuing Education Units, a measure used to maintain licenses or certifications with civilian employers.

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s TEC University in East Tennessee said that ICP graduates would receive 7.6 CEUs through a partnership with Pellissippi State Community College.


Airmen return to classrooms for Leadership School

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — U.S. Air Force Airmen returned for in-residence classes with the Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center in East Tennessee this week after more than a year’s in-person absence at the Air National Guard’s primary training and education campus.

More than 80 Senior Airmen enrolled in Airman Leadership School began 24 academic days of study with morning briefings and indoctrination on June 7. They were the first EPME class since pandemic health precautions suspended in-resident learning in early 2020.


Service leader’s scrapbooks provide communication lessons

I recently took some time to read through hundreds of telegrams and letters placed in an extensive scrapbook collection by the Air National Guard’s first Director, now on file with the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in East Tennessee.

TEC is named after U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. I.G. Brown. He led the Air National Guard for nearly a dozen years – first as the National Guard Bureau’s Assistant Chief for Air in 1962.


Guard ‘T-bird’ pilot wheels enthusiasm at nation’s capital [repost]

A colleague of mine, a very talented photographer, asked me recently if I ever took portraits of the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds, and I did not think I had. But when he mentioned Colonel Routt with the Nevada Guard, I suddenly remembered this story one day, many years ago. Apparently, they were looking for stories and photos of the Colonel for when he takes command of the 177th Fighter Wing. I often wonder about the outcomes of the people I spotlighted, but their names and faces are a blur. This was just one man that I interviewed for an assignment and then never saw again. My congratulations to you, Colonel Routt.


ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md (AFNS) –As acrobatic aircraft buzzed overhead as part of the run-up to the air show here May 16, Lt. Col.Derek Routt paid more notice to the parked, baby-blue and white business jets on the ground; aircraft used by the nation’s elected and military leaders.

The first Air National Guard officer to serve on the Air Force Thunderbirds was enjoying his time in the nation’s capital May 14. It was his eighth event since joining the team.

A trim, operations officer in his late 30s, Routt wore the dark-blue flight suit of the Thunderbirds with nary a thread out of place. So there was “no distinguishing between a Guard, Reserve or active-duty Thunderbird,” he said.

“This is a true-to-form, Total Force team,” he said. “When I tell people that I am a guardsman it brings a lot of questions, and that allows me to talk…

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Photo coverage: Cyber Protect and Defend Course graduation

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Chad Raduege, the director of Cyberspace and Information Dominance, and chief information officer for Headquarters Air Combat Command, spoke as guest speaker for graduates of the Cyber Protect and Defend Course, February 17, during a ceremony at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee.

After six weeks of learning, the Airmen and Space Force Guardians were the first official graduating class on the campus and part of the Mission Defense Team training.

TEC is the Air National Guard’s total force training and education provider.


TEC designs new challenge coin in leader development, future missions

The Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee is marketing its identity and strategy with a new challenge coin as it shifts mission, values, and image.

This month, the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center began using the coins as means of recognizing its contributors and performers. It is in addition to the commander’s coin awarded in those merits.


CMSAF joins 300+ Airmen in EPME virtual-training discussion

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass joined a teleconference with more than 300 Airmen enrolled virtually in NCO academy and Airman leadership school with instructors at the Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center in East Tennessee.

Short stories

The bag smashers (a poem)

The bag smashers
a poem

we met in a large oval
except for the outer belt
standby ticket travelers
plodding to the inside
with turbulent guts
i heard their deep retch
knowing a mess
may come
they asked bad stewards
ignored their connections
discounted claim checks
discounted gates onward
calling for old baggage
we wheeled novel luggage
and tied multicolored
bandana handles
for a United trip
picking up from a great jet
mending our new strains
then hard-buzzed warnings
of pushing flare chittering
some matching sets
‘merged through fringed boundaries
those shabby cases thunked
to work ‘round again
this terminal was home
left picking up
carrying it beyond


Commentary: The U.S. Air Force’s ABU dances off

U.S. Air Force Airmen will end the month of March this year, leaving behind a threadbare and faded slate-blue battle uniform with equally ragged conversations on its wear during the last decade: the ABU, or Airman Battle Uniform.

Only when leisure suit wearers were cool has an outfit been so disliked and oppositely loved.