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Education center staff and faculty push their development, despite adversity

FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. – U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee did not stop their own personal and professional growth in the face of teleworking.

Leaders noted how the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s 80-plus staff and faculty enrolled in online learning. More than 30 Airmen joined recently in a 20-hour course entitled, “leadership engagement, increase communication and trust,” which included individual coaching sessions.

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USAF instructors prove their agility with classroom-to-camera skills

LOUISVILLE, Tenn. — U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Megan Francolini and Tech. Sgt. Renee Wiederspahn recorded sessions in the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center TV studio, June 4, on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in East Tennessee, during camera-work for virtual in-residence remote NCO academy for the total U.S. Air Force.

Their efforts are among just a few weeks’ worths of turnaround by TEC’s Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center – the Air Force’s largest EPME center – as it kicks off VIR-R NCO Academy as well as VIR-R Airman leadership school mid-month.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Steven Durrance, the EPME center commandant, said in March that his team was focused on preparations to instruct a new curriculum as well as alternative learning methods.

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Instructors learned television-studio camera skills from broadcasting experts, including reading from a teleprompter, to record their curriculum. TEC operates the Air National Guard’s broadcast center and Warrior Network television studios.

“This was an extremely quick turn for Lankford; especially considering the circumstances,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Beiting, NCO academy superintendent. “It really has been a massive effort with a lot of challenges.”

The Air National Guard’s Lankford Center is a total force institution and graduates thousands of students annually. The 38 faculty include 19 enlisted Airmen from the regular Air Force, 18 from the National Guard, and one from the Reserve Command, as well as three support staff. They focused on coursework revisions and transformations from home since the worldwide pandemic suspended classes on campus.

More than 250 EPME students will connect from their homes across the nation beginning June 15.

Airmen interested in these courses should speak with their assigned education managers concerning VIR-R EPME opportunities.