Blended-Learning Airmen march toward holiday accomplishment

LOUISVILLE, Tenn. — Senior Airmen in the Airman leadership school blended learning class 18-1 were having fun outdoors, Dec. 1, 2017, during their two weeks of hands-on learning in East Tennessee.

Marching a flight may not have been easy, but there was plenty of camaraderie and encouragement. The Airmen arrived on campus after five weeks of facilitated learning at their home units.

The Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center is where Air National Guard Airmen go for the combined distance learning and resident course. Their small class of less than two dozen students is the only EPME on campus this month, so they are also the last students scheduled to graduate this year.

About 2,000 Airmen from the regular Air Force, the Air National Guard, and the  Air Force Reserve Command, as well as the Coast Guard and foreign militaries, attend NCO academy and ALS each year at the center. It is the Air Force’s largest and longest running EPME, founded in 1968.

Air National Guard chief inspired by mother

Chief Master Sgt. Paula C. Shawhan is not the type of woman to wait idly for her stars to align.

Two months out of high school, Shawhan decided to follow her mother’s military success and enlist in the Air Force Reserve. Now she’s forged 22-years’ service as a medical technician but broadened herself beyond stereotypes as well as with the Air National Guard.

“No women should ever say, ‘I can’t do that because I’m a woman,’” said Shawhan. “I take my experiences, and I find a way to apply them. That’s one of the great things someone can do for themselves and for the Air Force – don’t get pigeonholed.”

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