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17th TRW Spotlight: Staff Sgt. Austin Gooding

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ethan Sherwood
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

This spotlight features Staff Sgt. Austin Gooding, 313th Training Squadron intelligence instructor from Mt. Sterling, Illinois. He is responsible for three courses at the Intelligence Training Center as well as the project manager for the development of an exercise operations floor and the facility manager. He enjoys all outdoor activities, spending time with his family and reading. 

 

1.     How does your job support the 17th Training Wing’s mission?

The flight I am assigned to implements the 17th TRW mission of “Train, Develop and Inspire the Future Force” by providing world-class Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance training to our international partners through innovative instructional methods and classrooms no different than how we instruct our own ISR professionals.  At the International Intelligence Training Center, our goal is to train, lead, and enhance our international partner’s critical thinking abilities regarding intelligence operations to cultivate a cohesive working environment during joint operations while continuing to grow our own cultural awareness and appreciation. 

 

2.     What do you find most rewarding about your work?

The most rewarding part of my work is seeing the students’ expressions when they are to take the knowledge they learn in the lessons and apply it to real-world scenarios. The best feeling as an instructor is when everything clicks in their minds and can accomplish their objectives.

 

3.     What has been your biggest challenge in the military, and how did you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge in my military career was when I returned home from deployment and was getting back into the swing of things with my wife and kids. My wife and I had grown accustomed to being apart and struggled to communicate as a team. As time went by, we realized we needed help in this area and utilized the Families Over Coming Under Stress program, which was very effective.  

 

4.     What has been your most memorable experience in the military?

The most memorable experience was being asked to craft a two-week intelligence scenario for our joint partners for their qualification training. That moment allowed me to see the big picture, and I got a true glimpse of how my actions and decisions directly impacted the mission.

 

5.     What is one piece of information or advice you would like to pass on?

Never let your pride get in the way of asking for help. 

 

6.     What led you to join the military?

Thinking back, I do not have a distinct moment that directly caused me to join. Several factors led me to join, and if asked if I would make any changes to the decisions I have made, the answer is no. 

 

7.    What do you want to accomplish during your time here at Goodfellow Air Force Base?

While at Goodfellow, I would like to finish my undergraduate degree in Intelligence and Analysis. I also want to get accepted and graduate from the U.S. Air Force Weapons School Advanced Intelligence Instructor Course.

 

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