COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Chief Master Sgt. Juliet Gudgel, command chief of Air Education and Training Command, visitited Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, June 21-22 to see the 14th Flying Training Wing’s daily operations and talk about what AETC has planned for the future of the command.
“If we are going to inspire and develop ‘Mach 21’ Airmen, we first need to look at ourselves and see how we are structured,” Gudgel said. “We want to promote innovative changes and promote the future.”
Gudgel explained how the reorganization of Headquarters AETC has allowed for ideas and changes to be reviewed and approved in a more efficient manner. By empowering the Numbered Air Force’s, AETC has given more command authority at the squadron level so that commanders can take intelligent risks for maximum mission effectiveness.
When it comes to the mission set of AETC, Gudgel said the command is no longer focusing on three separate factors but a more connected approach to recruiting, training and educating Airmen.
“I see AETC as moving past the traditional ‘stove pipe’ model,” said Gudgel. “We were always recruiting, educating and training but we had separated these efforts in the past and they never seemed to connect.”
Gudgel said that through the Continuum of Learning, it’s not about one “pipe”, but rather, all areas of an Airmen’s life flowing together from education or certifications they achieved before joining the military to the experiences they have had over the course of their entire career.
She also talked about the pilot training agenda and new ways that could streamline pilot production. With the innovative Pilot Training Next initiative, AETC is taking a different approach to how pilots learn through the use of exising and emerging technologies that decrease the time and cost of training without sacrificing the depth of learning.
“Pilots still need traditional stick and rudder time, but what if they could train while sitting in their home?” asked Gudgel. “New ideas and projects like PTN and the use of virtual reality simulators have made pilot training much faster and more cost effective by allowing pilots the chance to more training at the touch of their fingertips.”
Gudgel continues to visit Airmen Air Force wide in an effort to raise awareness and provide a better understanding of the Continuum of Learning and the efforts AETC is making to promote a culture of lifelong learning across the Air Force.