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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Longest-serving on TEC staff, Billie Laux, dies at 85

FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. — Billie Laux, who provided decades of service and support to the Air National Guard training and education center, died Sunday, May 24, at 85.

Laux was hired in 1968 by the Director of the Air National Guard to serve as a civilian administrator at the ANG’s first NCO Academy. She was among its six initial instructors and staff, including a deputy commandant, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Paul H. Lankford, and a commandant/commander U.S. Air Force Maj. Ed Morrisey. Continue reading “Longest-serving on TEC staff, Billie Laux, dies at 85”

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”

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.

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Why we should sing a loud service song

The playing of The U.S. Air Force song is one of the few moments we have to sing out with gusto for the service. In basic training, we sang loud in cadence, not only to keep in step but with a feeling of teamwork that the Airman next to us bellowed out “Mama, Mama, Can’t You See” or “Everywhere We Go.” A squeaky or off-key voice was of little attention. The mindset was to build confidence, so the louder we sounded off in rhythm, the better the formation looked.

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Leadership students see the finish line

United States Air Force Noncommissioned Officer Academy students in Class 19-6 were checking off the remaining blocks in their final days before graduation next Tuesday.

Nominees for the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center’s commandant award took a group photo with Chief Master Sgt. Steven Durrance, commandant, outside his office, today, June 21.

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Education center staff, faculty innovate at Thinkshop workshop

Staff, faculty, and guests tossed a small cloth ball in a circle in a classroom at the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center on McGhee Tyson Air Guard Base in East Tennessee, Oct. 10, 2018, as part of the day’s hands-on exercises in the U.S. Fleet Forces Illuminate Thinkshop.

TEC’s organizers said that they scheduled the workshop today and tomorrow as a way to encourage and promote innovation on campus and across the U.S. Air Force. About two dozen Airmen attended the classes.

The U.S. Fleet Forces said that it initially developed Illuminate Thinkshop for Sailors and Marines. Its “unconventional” approach helps organizations “break down institutionalized barriers and leverage the tacit knowledge of their people,” officials said.

Thinkshop officials called the training valuable toward ways to “foster a culture of critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collective ownership.” Innovation is among senior defense leaders’ top priorities.

EPME Center closes fiscal year with graduations, accomplishments

Faculty and staff at the U.S. Air Force’s enlisted professional military education center in East Tennessee said that the graduations of three EPME classes last month closed out a fiscal year of significant accomplishments.

Classes NCO Academy 18-6, Airman Leadership School 18-10, and ALS Blended Learning Course 18-11, all graduated EPME on the last week of September. In total, the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford EPME Center graduated 1,894 students over the previous 12 months.

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Cyber operations Airman dresses in parody for smiles

An Airman assigned in cyber operations at the Air National Guard’s education center said that dressing up as a comic character parody for charitable events is a valuable and rewarding way to reach out to the community where he’s assigned.

“Cause-play [dressing in costume for a cause] has been my interest and brings so much joy to others,” Master Sgt. Robert A. Pickler said.

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