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AETC releases vision of future learning

  • Published
  • By Michael Briggs
  • Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
The Air Force must transform its training and education system of today into a continuous learning culture to meet the Air Force missions of tomorrow.

Air Education and Training Command leaders released that vision for the years between 2008 and 2030 when they unveiled "On Learning: The Future of Air Force Education and Training," a 29-page white paper Jan. 31. 

AETC produced the forward-looking study with two purposes in mind, said Gen. William R. Looney III, AETC commander. The first was to generate a body of thought on the future of education and training. The second was to focus on impending issues for the Air Force.

One of those issues is the ability to continue to recruit tech-savvy Americans to become Airmen, the general said.

"The young men and women who will lead our Air Force in the future have been living in a digital world their entire lives and are better prepared than any other generation to operate in this environment," General Looney said. "It is imperative that we understand their needs and expectations, and develop an enterprise-wide system that fosters learning and captures their most critical asset -- knowledge."

The white paper introduces concepts that support the Air Force, its leaders and Airmen in their development and lifelong learning needs. At the heart of the vision is a learning organization called "Air Force 2.0." Air Force 2.0 is defined by three concepts: knowledge management that discusses how the Air Force operates; continuous learning that covers how the Air Force develops people; and precision learning that explains how the Air Force delivers learning.

One aspect of this strategy for future Airman learning includes development of a virtual learning environment interface known as "MyBase."

"MyBase provides a virtual, exploratory and interactive environment in support of continuous lifelong learning, from educating the general public, to entry into the service, and throughout our Airmen's careers and post-career years," said Maj. Gen. Erwin F. Lessel III, AETC director of plans, programs, requirements and assessments.

The white paper includes three attached vignettes that show how an Airman could experience the enhanced learning environment of MyBase from public, training and operational perspectives. In one scenario, a captain uses MyBase to complete Squadron Officer School courses while collaborating with sister service and civilian academic institutions and interacting with virtual characters, or avatars, who guide him through lectures and hands-on field experiences.

"Airmen must have systems in place that allow them to share their gained knowledge with others, to collaborate and to successfully operate and dominate in the world of air, space and cyberspace," General Looney said. "If the Air Force of 2030 is to be an agile, adaptive, learning organization, it must embrace change, accept risk, cope with reverses and learn to reinvent itself -- constantly."

The complete white paper is available on the Web at www.aetc.af.mil/library/whitepaper.asp.
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