JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, TX – Nearly 100 participants from across the membership pipeline gathered here September 14-16 to give members of the training community the opportunity to connect.
The idea to host the Bridging the Gap conference arose out of feedback and discussion at the Air Education and Training Command senior leadership conference, known as the Gathering of the Torch, at Keesler AFB, Mississippi, in May.
“During our visit [at GOT] we discussed feedback on how the 37th Training Wing brings in Airmen through the Air Force recruiting service, gets them from BMT, and then sends them out for technical training, ”he said. said Col. Rockie K Wilson, commanding officer of the 37th TRW.
“This aligns with one of the goals of our strategic plan to institutionalize a feedback mechanism between basic military training, technical training and the Air Force recruiting service,” Wilson added. “We need continuous feedback from the trainees we are producing. So far, we’ve either just deferred feedback to each other or given feedback only after experiencing some form of frustration. Most of the time, it is simply a lack of communication and alignment between expectations and reality.
According to Chief Master Sgt. Michael R. Morgan, 37th TRW Command Chief, Bridging the Gap was designed to “synchronize expectations, results and feedback in the membership business”. It brought together elements of 2d AF, AFRS, BMT and technical training.
“Bridging the Gap allowed us to discuss core processes, provide a formal venue and opportunity for cross-dialogue, and establish a formal feedback process across the company to strengthen the teams that generate future generations of people. ‘Airmen and Guardians,’ Morgan said.
The planning and organization of the conference was the responsibility of Captain Allegra Frolow, Flight Commander of 331 Training Squadron, and the Senior Master Sgt. Kelli Jackson, 37th Training Group, military training superintendent.
They established a schedule that included presentations from pipeline officials, tours of the BMT processing and Airmen training complex, and attending a BMT graduation ceremony. The final afternoon featured contributions from the technical training units of the 17th, 81st, 82nd and Special Warfare Training Wings, as well as the 37th and 59th Training Groups, culminating in a discussion of ” way forward “led by Wilson and Morgan.
“It was gratifying to see the enthusiasm for this initiative,” Wilson said. “Bridging the Gap Aligns with AETC’s Priority of ‘Cultivating an Environment of Excellence’ and 2 Air Force’s Vision of” Delivering the Exceptional Airmen and Guardians Who Power the Greater Air and Space Force ” of the world “. We are already talking about the next conference, which tells me that we have done the right thing by launching this. “
The Colonel added that while the feedback is positive, he felt that “we are only scratching the surface in terms of aligning training pipelines through collaboration and cooperation. Over time, we can have a huge impact on our current strategic competition efforts and pace challenges by focusing both on agility to update our training program faster and in terms of scalability in this. which concerns the number of airmen and guards that we can produce on demand. “