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News

Lankford EPME center reflects on fiscal year’s adversity, agility, victories

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — The U.S. Air Force’s enlisted professional military education center in East Tennessee looked back at the Fiscal Year 2020 this week to reflect on the adversity, innovations, and accomplishments, perhaps like no other during its 52 years.

The Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center is the Air National Guard’s total force PME center that graduated thousands of students since last October, despite pandemic restrictions.

They reported 1,411 NCOA graduates and 397 Airman Leadership School graduates during the fiscal year. That involved 11 classes, including six newly designed virtual in-resident-remote EPME classes and five traditional EPME classes.

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Short stories

Time tossed

Time tossed
a short story

They told us not to go into the DYE site during our initial briefing because it was unsafe. There were other reasons given; although, I can’t recall them. Radiation? Monsters? But after we got stranded, we wandered. Thirty minutes of snowshoeing on the hard snow seemed little distance away from the camp, still on the flat horizon. I followed Neil in a sliding tumble, up and over the bank, down to the ladder. When we stood hunched at the bottom of a snow bowl, the sudden, dim light temporarily blinded me after coming out of the bright arctic landscape. Neil snickered at the metal ladder leading up to a steel hatch as every rung except the top four sunk into the miles of solid ice below. There was no telling how far it descended. Before climbing, I took one last look at a snowy circle surrounding the raised structure and steel support columns like an oil rig on a frozen ocean. My thick boots barely fit between the rust-layered, round, metal rungs, up through the opening at shoulder height into a black hallway full of musty chilled air and snowdrifts.

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News

Future cyber defenders graduate to shape total U.S. Air Force

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – U.S. Air Force students ready to cross the stage, September 22, 2020, during the U.S. Air Force Cyber Protect and Defend Course graduation ceremony held at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee. The ceremony broadcasted online and featured guest speaker Brig. Gen. Keith G. MacDonald, director of Air National Guard Operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – Graduating students of the U.S. Air Force Cyber Protect and Defend Course took hold of diplomas, September 22 at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base while those present and online celebrated the completion of the first class with the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.

What they learned would undoubtedly defend the nation from cyber-attacks, officials said.

“What you are going to do is as important as in any mission that we do in the Air Force today,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Keith G. MacDonald, director of Air National Guard Operations.

The featured graduation speaker, General MacDonald, congratulated the 18 students and recognized the organizations, leaders, and people who worked together to bring the course to TEC for the Air Force. A recording of the ceremony is available online at https://vimeo.com/460674186.

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News

Virtual USAF marathon runners cross the chalk in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Airmen assigned to the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee and their families cheered for each other at the Knoxville Greenway on September 19 during the full, half, 10K, 5K, and 1K race of the Virtual Air Force Marathon.

TEC’s Morale Committee sponsored the event as a means to get together outdoors safely during the pandemic and to celebrate the Air Force’s birthday.

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News

Air Guard’s Lankford EPME Center graded HIGHLY EFFECTIVE in Program Management

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – The Air National Guard’s primary campus for training and education in East Tennessee recently achieved the highest grade awarded after a U.S. Air Force review of its enlisted education for total force Airmen.

The Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center, a division within the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, earned HIGHLY EFFECTIVE by the U.S. Air Force’s Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education in a Program Management Review.

“COVID-19 can’t stop the passion and energy of Team TEC!” said U.S. Air Force Col. Kenneth Lozano, the commander, in an email to faculty and staff.

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Uncategorized

Purple Heart Hall of Honor opens [Repost]

Today being Purple Heart Day, I’m reposting my 2006 coverage of the opening of the Purple Heart Hall of Honor that November. Thank you to all those who served and suffered an injury to receive this medal, it’s one that no one wants to earn but is the most respected. It was a grand event, and the institution’s history displays are worth the trip. The site also records the stories of the medal’s recipients on-site for the national archives. This was also my first remote assignment when I started serving at the National Guard Bureau Joint Staff in DC.

eartheditor

By Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith, National Guard Bureau

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. – Thousands of people, including members of the National Guard, gathered under a bright autumn sun here Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day, to dedicate a lasting tribute to the nation’s recipient of the Purple Heart Medal.

Active duty, Guard and Reserve members, past and present combat veterans and their families, and political dignitaries gathered to dedicate the $6.5 million National Purple Heart Hall of Honor with patriotic speeches, historical music, tours, a ribbon cutting, and a fly-over by Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters.

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commentary

Commentary: Managing the ‘JMHOs’

There are times when personal opinion is valuable, and there are moments when it’s inappropriate. This balance with subjectivity stresses the importance of transparency in our media.

If we live in a world where everyone reports something, professionals have a particular onus to source it. The cold, hard fact is that cold, hard facts and personal beliefs are equally viable when adequately identified.

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Uncategorized

Air Guard’s charter members reflect on first 60 years [Repost]

The Air Force’s 60th birthday in 2007 generated a lot of news assignments and traveling for me, to air shows and interviewing people, including this interview with 90-year-old Harry Emily. Mr. Emily passed away nearly three years to the day after this article published, which proved the importance of telling his and others’ stories before they are gone forever. I always felt a responsibility to include history articles as much as news and commentary in my efforts as a military journalist. For young journalists, no one is going to tell you to write these stories; it’s instead a responsibility that comes with managing the position. The opportunities come to you, which you should not ignore.

eartheditor

Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith
National Guard Bureau

(Note: This reposted article was originally written and published April 9, 2007)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AF NEWS) — Their membership gets older and smaller every day. Nearly 60 years have passed since they formed, but time has not removed distant memories of 1946 and 1947 after these veterans helped claim victory in World War II and flew as Air National Guardsmen. 

You may have met them on your drill weekends outside your shop or at a base function. He was that man with the silver hair who grabbed your elbow in the hallway one Saturday afternoon to tell you about those who came before you. Or it was another senior citizen describing how his and other Airmen’s voices filled the cockpits of retired aircraft and echoed in hangars long since torn down.

They are the Air Guard’s charter Airmen. They will be there…

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News

EPME Center graduates hundreds through virtual classes, ceremony

FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. – More than 10,000 watched the virtual graduation ceremony of U.S. Air Force Airmen enrolled in virtual in-residence, remote NCO Academy and Airman Leadership School, broadcast live July 13, to the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s Facebook account.

Family, friends, and coworkers used the moment to directly share the Livestream at least 30 times, “like” it more than 100 times, and submit more than 150 positive comments of support and congratulations. A recording is at https://lnkd.in/ejhp_Rv.

“Congratulations to all today’s graduates.” and “You are the future of the Air Force. Aim High!” and “Yeahhh my baby girl!” and “We are so proud of you.” were among the prevailing sentiments.

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News

USAF Air Combat Command selects TEC for future cyber-training mission

U.S. Air Force Combat Command selected the Air National Guard’s training and education center on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in East Tennessee for training Airmen to protect and defend the nation’s most advanced computerized weapon systems.

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center is part of a recent and extensive, multi-unit effort to increase Air Combat Command’s Mission Defense Team cyber training with the inclusion of the campus, located just outside Knoxville.

“This is an exciting moment for TEC and its future as an agile, innovative, and resilient center of learning for the total Air Force and the National Guard Bureau,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Kenneth Lozano, TEC commander. “We are expanding and growing at zero cost. This initiative is the result of a strategy to diversify TEC’s role today and into the future.”