Maintenance training on track to support F-35A
As the Air Force begins its Operational Utility Evaluation of the F-35A Lightning II, maintenance training to support the joint strike fighter is also preparing for key program milestones.
Though the first “pipeline” students — basic military training graduates — don’t begin training until January 2014, the two units in charge of F-35A maintenance training are already hard at work.
“We’re working to set the conditions for success when pipeline training starts,” said Maj. Kenneth Schneider, director of operations for the 359th Training Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. “That includes everything from updating the (Career Field Education and Training Plans) to achieving Community College of the Air Force accreditation.”
Another key part of the preparation is acceptance testing the F-35 maintenance training devices, including electronic mediated lessons and interactive courseware.
ACSC launches new distance learning program
The Air Command and Staff College is launching a new version of the non-master’s “correspondence” program during the last week of September.
This comprehensive distance learning transformation is designed to enhance critical thinking skills and improve the educational value of professional military education for mid-grade officers and civilians, officials said.
While the content remains similar, the learning experience will be completely different. Along with lesson narratives, reading materials and lesson progress checks, students will encounter videos, computer-based interactive learning activities and “game-like” exercises, all available in an online environment. Self-paced study will be enhanced through collaborative online seminars that enable students to engage more deeply in course concepts via faculty-guided, peer-to-peer interactions.
F-35 training commander: ‘This jet is our future’
Five months of flying the Air Force’s newest fighter jet has left one Airman convinced of the aircraft’s substantial combat capability.
Lt. Col. Lee Kloos is the commander of the 58th Fighter Squadron, the Defense Department’s first F-35 Lightning II training squadron, located at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
Kloos, who spent more than 2,100 hours flying F-16 Fighting Falcons, said many of America’s fighter jets are aging and the costs associated with maintaining and upgrading them increases with each passing year.
The F-35 is the world’s first multi-role stealth fighter that is designed to replace aging stalwarts such as the Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and the Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II.
As an aircraft that meets the mission needs of multiple services in addition to those of international partner nations, the F-35 provides a support network that enables many opportunities for cost sharing and savings, Kloos said.
Wounded warriors discuss transitions to new lives
Caregivers, National Guard and Reserve support and sports for the wounded are the top Defense Department priorities for wounded warriors and their families, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for warrior care recently said.
John Campbell made the comments after listening to wounded warrior panelists discuss their experiences with recovery at the annual Warrior-Family Symposium, sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America.
Retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Slaydon and his wife, Annette, were both part of the panel. Slaydon was an ordnance disposal technician on his third deployment in Iraq in October 2007 when a roadside bomb exploded in his face. Slaydon said he received excellent medical treatment, but struggled after returning home from the hospital. Family members didn’t understand the symptoms of post-traumatic stress, he said, and some relationships, including with his mother, ended.
Slaydon, who lost his arm and was blinded by the bomb, said his symptoms worsened after he received a medical retirement from the service. He became paranoid, he said, at noises in his house and would spend his days terrified and sitting with his guns.