AMC civic leaders go to basic training
Air Mobility Command
/ Published May 16, 2019
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
Air Mobility Command civic leaders toured the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, May 1-3 as guests of Gen. Maryanne Miller, AMC commander.
The 37th TRW, otherwise known as the “Gateway Wing,” is the largest training wing in the Air Force, and the first stop for all enlisted Air Force recruits on their journey to becoming Airmen.
“It was important for our leaders to experience the vital role of the Basic Military Training program and see firsthand how our trainees are transformed into motivated, disciplined warrior Airmen with the skills and desire to serve in our Air Force,” Miller said.
The twenty-three attendees are serving a three-year tour in the AMC civic leader program – designed to educate key civilian influencers from communities surrounding Air Force installations and prepare them to serve as advocates for Airmen and their families.
The three-day tour started with a walk through of the newest Airman Training Complex, a trainee’s home for eight and a half weeks, followed by observance of the coin ceremony where nearly 800 trainees officially earned the title of “Airman.”
“My confidence in America’s next generation was heightened after watching these dedicated young men and women step forward and heed the call to serve their country,” said Tom Burkett, AMC civic leader from Tampa, Florida. “Just watching their transformation from civilians to Airmen was so inspiring to me, and seeing their families and friends beam with pride brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat.”
Brig. Gen. Joel Jackson, AMC Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration deputy director, accompanied Miller in support of the visit.
“This is a great opportunity for our civic leaders to see what it really takes to become an Airman,” Jackson said. “From their base involvement they have observed great Airmen at work, now they have seen how they are trained.”
The group also traveled to the Basic Expeditionary Airmen Skills Training to witness how the Air Force trains Airmen for the battlefield environment with a mock deployment. Civic leaders were then paired with trainees in their seventh week of training for a Meal-Ready-to-Eat (MRE) lunch and discussion.
In honor of the “Year of the Defender,” civic leaders were immersed into the world of security forces training, with several stops at the 343rd Training Squadron where they participated in domestic response training scenarios as well as the virtual hands-on Firearms Training Systems.
The tour culminated in attendance at the BMT graduation where they witnessed those nearly 800 Airmen complete training and take the oath of enlistment.
“They walked a little straighter (after) and with more confidence because of the mindset shift they had assumed,” said Bobby Pancake, civic leader from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. “They are now the future legacy of the greatest Air Force on earth. We were honored to be there, and we were proud of their commitment, service and sacrifice.”
Miller hosted an executive session prior to the civic leaders departing, sharing AMC’s priorities and her vision for the command. The discussion afforded the group to identify several areas where civic leaders can help the command address challenges in new and innovative ways using resources that haven’t been tapped into previously.
“Now, as representatives of their respective communities, they can return home with the information they learned and share it with their communities,” said Jackson.
AMC civic leaders are focused on initiating positive change and improvements in the areas of professional license reciprocity and advancing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculums in schools near Air Force bases.
“We retain families and that’s where you come in,” Miller said. “You are the strength behind the families. The work you do in your communities cannot be overstated.”
For more information about the Air Mobility Command civic leader program, contact Air Mobility Command Public Affairs at (618) 229-7865.