Air Force

February 7, 2014

Au revoir flightline, bonjour France

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

130301-HT977-063-Courtesy
The Air Force provides many opportunities for Airmen to advance their careers. Some of those opportunities are Airmen Leadership School, Military Training Instructor School and the Air War College.

One officer here at Luke is preparing to further his Air Force career by relinquishing command of the 310th Fighter Squadron and moving to France to continue his military education.

“To be picked for this assignment is great,” said Lt. Col. Jon Wheeler, 310th Fighter Squadron commander. “I am really looking forward to being an international officer and representing the United States Air Force. It’s a pretty big honor.”

Wheeler will be the only Air Force officer among many officers attending the School of War in Paris, which he was selected to attend as part of his senior developmental education. The selection will require Wheeler to relinquish command two months before the end of his second full year as Top Hat 1.

“If the Air Force would let me, I would just keep this job forever,” Wheeler said. “Phoenix is special to me. I’ve been at Luke three times. I was here as an F-16 student, F-16 instructor, as a commander, and I love it here.”

Before heading to Paris, Wheeler will attend the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., for six months to learn how to speak French. While attending the School of War in Paris, he will be immersed in French culture.

“First, the international officers will have a lead-in course to get used to speaking about military and strategic topics in French,” Wheeler said. “We will have French instructors communicating in mostly French to get us ready for the school.”

After that pre-course, the international officers will attend the School of War and will be integrated with the French military students. Upon graduation, Wheeler will earn a designation as a regional affairs specialist.

“Now you have a specialty in European affairs, which puts you on track for an embassy or European theatre assignment,” Wheeler said. “Most likely my follow-on will be a staff assignment to either the headquarters of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe or United States European Command, which are located in Belgium and Germany.”

Wheeler looks forward to the broadening education he will receive at the school.

“I’m really looking forward to this assignment, because you get more into the strategic side of thinking,” he said. “At the squadron level, we focus much more on the tactical level. It’s a different perspective.”

Wheeler, who has no background with the French language, said he recently enrolled in a language course at the library.

“There are terrific resources at the library, which has given me a great head start,” he said.

Wheeler’s focus is staying humble as he prepares himself for the future challenges that lay ahead.

“I’m taking it one assignment at a time,” he said. “I just want to make a positive impact on the Air Force while balancing my family’s happiness and rising to any leadership challenges the Air Force has for me along the way.”

Upon arriving in France, Wheeler plans to visit Normandy, Verdun, and many of the famous attractions in Paris before the course starts.

“I want to be a tourist for a little while, which should help me communicate more effectively during the course,” Wheeler said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Luke 1 holds first commander’s call

Courtesy Photo Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, begins his first commander’s call at Luke Air Force Base Monday. Pleus took command of the fighter wing June 20. Brig. Gen Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing com...
 
 

Balance, key to successful AF life

I believe proper balance is the key to a successful life in the Air Force. Over the years I’ve come to realize that it takes a concentrated effort to maintain balance between a professional life as an Air Force member and personal or family life. Both require constant learning, adjustments, development and attention. It’s easy...
 
 

Avoid claustrophobic career

I have heard many times that education is the great equalizer. The Air Force takes in people of all races, cultures and backgrounds and unifies them under simple beliefs and values. The enlisted force structure serves as the common language for force development, and education plays a major role. We all know education creates opportunity,...
 

 
James Hensley

No one flies until flight med gives OK

James Hensley Airman 1st Class Shawn Martinez, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight medicine technician, checks over the ambulance Aug. 19 with Staff Sgt. Jovanny Reyes, 56th AMDS medical technician, at Luke Air Force Base. ...
 
 

News Briefs August 29, 2014

Gate hours change The South Gate Visitor Registration Center hours have changed. They are 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Effective Tuesday, the North Gate is open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also on Tuesday, the Kachina Gate will open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 10...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Senior Airman Brian Comia 56th Force Support Squadron Services journeyman Hometown: San Lorenzo, California Years in service: Three Family: Wife, Phoebe; daughters, Sophia and Isabella Inspirations: My family Goals: My short-term goal is to make staff sergeant next year Greatest feat: Becoming a U.S. citizen and having the pleasure and honor of serving this country...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin