Categories
commentary

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.

Categories
commentary

Commentary: For usability’s sake

My blood pressure is high.

I know it is because I’ve been monitoring it for some time.

But this is not a health editorial for those who pull their sleeve up daily for a pressure cuff — with memories of saltier meals — will testify.

We march through many stressful changes in the services. Some of us are managers and designers in the comprehensive technology that encircled us. And we know the universal question of what systems win battles and what makes us boil. Is it usable?

Categories
News

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.

Categories
Short stories

The bag smashers

The bag smashers
a poem

we met in a large oval
except for the outer belt
watchers
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

Categories
News

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.

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News

Air National Guard training and education center reviews 2020

By U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
I.G. Brown Training and Education Center

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — Taking a look back at a jarring 2020, the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center staff said that they faced extraordinary challenges with bold ideas, innovation, and teamwork amid isolation and unfamiliarity.

Like past national crises, the COVID-19 pandemic made a demarcation line, but with an impact like no other. The year was marked by before health protection conditions and after.

TEC is now into its 10th month of the deadly virus that suspended most in-resident classes in March and pushed staff and faculty to rethink every facet of meeting, teaching, and serving in uniform.

Categories
News

Education center releases board game ahead of year in review

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — The Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee has released its year in review feature article every year for some time. Still, for this challenging 2020, it is adding a fun twist ahead of that review of accomplishments.

TEC released its Year in Review Board Game ahead of the standard writeup as the organization’s way to put a lighthearted end to a year of home isolation and COVID-19 stress.

“The game, if played widely through the holidays by our staff, families, and alumni, may help alleviate the pandemic life of monotony and social distancing as something that gathers most families to the table,” said TEC officials. “We hope that our customers and others across the services give it some play too, and learn a bit about our organization.”

You can download the 11″ x 17″ board game at www.angtec.ang.af.mil/News/Art/igphoto/2002550525/.

Categories
commentary

Commentary: Experiences step up our insight

One of the biggest things you hear around the U.S. Air Force these days is accelerating change, so you read stuff like leveraging inclusion, innovation, and diversity.

We’re talking about open-minded approaches that welcome the input of all service members.

But how do you get that insight? We may repeatedly be looking at issues and asking ourselves, “How can that person, just because they look different than me, possibly influence this mission?” Maybe it’s unanswered because we don’t take the time to appreciate personal experiences.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.