Despite the recent challenges that have been presented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Airmen across the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., are adapting and overcoming to continue executing the mission in which they have been tasked.
For instructors of the First Term Airman Course, a course for new Airmen to gain critical information to set them up for their future careers, their adaptation has come in the form of pushing the curriculum virtually to ensure the safety of Airmen and their families.
“Shortly after the pandemic started our classes were paused, but we knew that we had to find a solution to ensure that we were still providing the pertinent information to our Airmen,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Yvette Morales, 355th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor. “As we saw an influx of Airmen coming that were diverted here, we started transitioning to the online platform.”
Airmen are required to come in for one day for setup and orientation, while most of the rest of the course is done virtually. This ensures that equipment is setup and the course can work as well as possible.
“Going through this transition has not been seamless but our team has adjusted well to make this work for us and the students coming in,” said Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Jones, FTAC team lead. “It is important that we get this information to them because they will use it and it will help them at some point later in their careers. It also goes to show that we can still complete our mission in adverse situations, especially when things don’t look the way that we are used to.”
The FTAC instructors gained support from leadership to find a new way forward to continue developing an online program that allowed Airmen to effectively get the information that they need while still having the opportunity to network and socialize with other Airmen in the course.
“This really sets the framework for our brand new Airmen as they come into their first duty station,” said Morales. “The fact that these Airmen are still coming in, getting the mission done and keeping a positive attitude is truly outstanding. I’m really impressed and humbled by what our new Airmen are bringing to the fight and I know they’re going to do amazing things.”
As more innovative ways to learn come from this pandemic, it continually highlights the ability of the 355th Wing’s Airmen to be adaptable to remain ready for any challenge at any time.