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

Airman changes lanes in life

Courtesy photo Airman 1st Class Kelton Rall Those who have had a hard life often say it is hard to overcome the past. “It’s almost like climbing out of a dark hole – one mistake and you fall deeper into the abyss,” said...
 
 

People First – October 31, 2014

AF adjusts enlisted retention results Air Force officials announced an adjustment to the Junior Enlisted Retention Board which convened in June at the Air Force Personnel Center. Fifty Airmen who were not selected for retention during the FY14 force management ERB were offered the opportunity to remain on active-duty following identification of an issue in the...
 
 

Air Force News – October 31, 2014

Chile After flying more than 50 sorties, participating in two community relations events, entertaining multiple media events and being visited by the president of Chile, U.S. Airmen partaking in Chile’s SALITRE 2014 exercise are returning home. The purpose was to conduct military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals. Germany As service members travel to...
 

 

Air Force News – October 24, 2014

Hawaii Survival, evasion, resistance and escape instructors at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam conduct combat survival training once a month, 12 months a year, to ensure aircrew members are qualified and better prepared for combat survival. Greenland A biannual resupply mission to sustain the inhabitants of CFS Alert and Eureka Research Station, Nunavut, Canada, was completed...
 
 

People First – October 24, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story. Air Force...
 
 

Air Force News – October 17, 2014

Germany Airmen with the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein Air Base loaded a C-130J Super Hercules with needed supplies Oct. 7 and launched their first mission to West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance. The team of Airmen flying with the aircraft made stops in Spain, Senegal and Liberia, an area heavily affected by...
 




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