GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
The Air Education and Training Command command team arrived here Feb. 6 for an immersion tour to see first-hand how the 17th Training Wing is working to set the standard for innovation, agility, professionalism, and life-long learning.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of AETC, made his first visit to Goodfellow as the AETC commander alongside Chief Master Sgt. Julie Gudgel, command chief of AETC.
The 17th Training Wing highlighted how Goodfellow is moving toward the future of education and showcased “The Goodfellow Way,” a new plan to train, develop and inspire the future force.
“You have some very innovative efforts going on that are a foundational piece of what AETC has been about for the last few years,” said Webb. “You can really see it taking root here at Goodfellow. I’m really proud of the efforts both from the permanent party and the students going forward.”
Students from the base demonstrated the mental fitness obstacle course designed to increase readiness and resiliency, as well as teach them valuable skills such as creative and critical thinking.
Webb and Gudgel also toured the 316th Training Squadron, seeing how they are working toward classrooms of the future through their high-tech courses, as well as getting the chance to experience Operation Lonestar, a 315th Training Squadron project that forges Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance warriors through realistic training experiences.
The team learned how ISR professionals become ISR experts at the 313th Training Squadron, the unit responsible for giving advanced training to the Department of Defense and international partners.
Webb and Gudgel also got to see first-hand how the wing conducts training for the entire Department of Defense fire fighter community at the 312th Training Squadron, getting the chance to put out an aircraft fire using a fire truck’s water cannon.
The AETC command team also saw other types of training fire protection students go through, including hazardous materials, vehicle extraction, search and rescue, emergency medical response, and many other challenges.
However, the 312th TRS isn’t all brawn. It is also home to Special Instruments Training, a course focused on thinking outside the box. Here, Webb and Gudgel were shown a working hovercraft made from a cardboard box, some electronics, and 3D printed parts. The hovercraft is just one of the many amazing things the students have created in their free time.
“One of the real takeaways for me is how innovate this course is,” said Webb. “The active-learning exercises that uses guided tasks, interactions, assignments & environments to cultivate deep, meaningful learning is such a great concept and you see it playing out across the full spectrum of the courses taught here at Goodfellow.”
Training bases, while focused on students, have many needs outside of education and the AETC command team had the chance to stop by the 17th Medical Group, responsible for keeping students in class and instructors able to lead. They are responsible for everything from a cough to mental illness; they keep bodies, teeth, and minds healthy and ready.
Webb and Gudgel were also part of the first-ever “Chiefs’ Huddle” at the 17th TRW, which was an opportunity for two-way feedback between the chiefs and the AETC command team.
Webb and Gudgel wrapped up their visit by spending time with Airmen selected by their unit leadership for their efforts during training, with each receiving a coin for their hard work and achievements.