LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, visited the 314th Airlift Wing and the Air National Guard’s 189th AW during his multi-day trip to Little Rock Air Force Base, March 23-25.
Spangenthal witnessed firsthand the installation’s robust Total Force Integration (TFI), which combines two active-duty wings from separate major commands as well as the ANG. Spangenthal described the collaboration and support amongst the units at LRAFB as “truly superb.”
“My overall takeaway from visiting Little Rock and the Home of Herk Nation was how well the team is performing together,” he said. “The TFI teamwork here is a fantastic model for the rest of the Air Force to see because of how well it’s being executed. I am really proud of the work that our Airmen are doing here.”
During his visit with the 314th AW, Spangenthal took a closer look at the implementation of Formal Training Unit Next concepts into the wing’s C-130 schoolhouse procedures. As part of AETC’s overhaul of the legacy training pipeline, the deputy commander was briefed on the current C-130J Block 8.1 conversion – accelerating change and development of fully-qualified aviators for operational units.
These changes are being made to deliver better-trained aircrew members to the Joint Force and international partners.
Spangenthal also met and flew with the 62nd Airlift Squadron to gain further insight into the squadron’s new practices to enhance the training operations for the next generation of C-130 pilots.
In addition to modernizing flying training, the 314th AW demonstrated the unique means to blend training solutions for maintenance Airmen via virtual reality, which the installation is using.
Following his visit with the 314th AW, Spangenthal met with the 189th AW to learn more about their mission and tour the 223rd Cyberspace Operations Squadron, which is responsible for training cyber defenders assigned to mission defense teams across the Air Force.
“My hats off to both the 314th and 189th leaders because they’re allowing our Airmen to do what they do best – execute the mission and find ways to improve it,” Spangenthal said. “I appreciate the fact that they are not only accomplishing the mission, but prioritizing taking care of our Airmen and their families; when you get that right unbelievable things can happen.”
The 314th Airlift Wing is the nation's tactical airlift "Center of Excellence" and trains C-130 aircrew members from the Department of Defense, Coast Guard, and 47 partner nations. The mission of the 189th Airlift Wing is to crate mission-ready citizen Airmen and provide premier training to the C-130 and cyber enterprises.