On June 21, 20 Airmen graduated from the first Airpower Leadership Academy at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
But what is ALA?
“ALA is a formalized mentorship program created to motivate, develop and inspire our middle tier enlisted Airmen,” said Command Chief Master Sgt. Randy Kwiatkowski, 56th Fighter Wing command chief. “This effort is designed to enable our NCOs to reach beyond perceived boundaries by learning from the experiences and guidance offered by seasoned Senior NCOs who are passion-driven to build the future of Airpower.”
ALA is a 20-week program for technical and staff sergeants. During the course enlisted leaders enhance their knowledge by attending ten unique lessons focused on the five pillars of ALA: relationships, expectations, academics, character and health.
“The unique thing about ALA is the class size. Kwiatkowski said. “We try to build each class with a ratio of one course facilitator for every two ALA students.”
The ALA team develops their own course curriculum and each lesson is designed with perspective: ‘What are the leadership tools you carry as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer you wish you would’ve had as a Noncommissioned Officer years ago?’
The ALA pillars directly tie into the belief of the 56th FW that we value people, ideas and then things.
“The entire ALA experience is cut from the cloth of our belief in people,” Kwiatkowski said. “There is an immeasurable amount of passion woven into this fabric, both from our facilitators and students. Together, we create a culture that allows our vulnerabilities to be revealed, discussed and strengthened while we grow as a team.”
One of the final tasks of ALA Class 17-A was to nominate the NCOs that will make up Class 17-B, launching in August.
“The vision is that 10 years from now we will be able to trace current ALA students all the way back to the inaugural class who graduated this week,” said Kwiatkowski. “They are the start of a legacy of leadership development.”