JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The Air Force’s Personnel Center hosted its third 2019 Squadron Commander Course here, May 13-16, and for the first time included squadron superintendents.
AFPC has eight squadron commander courses planned throughout 2019 after a six-year course hiatus.
Previous courses this year provided a first-hand opportunity to new and sitting squadron commanders to learn about AFPC programs and processes for talent management and care for Airmen and families. This iteration offered superintendents the same opportunity, with 41 commanders and civilian directors, and nine superintendents attending.
“Including squadron superintendents in this class was a significant benefit to our squadron commanders and the superintendents,” said Lt. Col. Josh Hawkins, AFPC course director. “Our emphasis on officer and enlisted squadron leadership will bring commanders' and superintendents’ perspectives together, which benefits the Airmen in their units and the missions they perform. We’ve also changed the course title to the 'AFPC Squadron Commander and Superintendent Course' which more accurately reflects our intent moving forward.”
“Having the superintendents here provided an awesome perspective and was probably the most valuable part of the course, because you look at the diverse career fields present and some of the commanders may not have a lot of experience with enlisted personnel,” said Maj. Todd Murray, 703d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. “I hope AFPC continues to include superintendents in this course.”
The AFPC command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Lindsey, spoke about the importance of commanders and superintendents supporting each other, a superintendent’s role and how they are instrumental in the success of an organization.
“There’s nothing greater than the power of empowerment,” he told commanders. “Incorporate your superintendent into your unit so they can help you lead your organization.”
Throughout the week commanders and superintendents met with AFPC leaders and subject matter experts, covering a variety of topics that included officer and enlisted evaluations, promotions, force development, assignment management, civilian human resources and Airman and Family readiness, to name a few.
“The course was outstanding and filled some knowledge gaps about AFPC processes, which are needed to mentor and develop Airmen,” said Lt. Col. Christine “LJ” Littlejohn, 75th Operations Support Squadron commander, Hill AFB, Utah. “This course was absolutely worth the invested time.”
While the Air Force provides other developmental opportunities for commanders and superintendents, this course is unique because it provides a deep dive into capabilities AFPC can provide and the tiered organizational structure and functionality of AFPC’s directorates.
Commanders and superintendents echoed how understanding the tiered approach helped gain perspective and appreciation of how AFPC supports the force.
“Everything I know about AFPC was through working personnel issues throughout my career,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Jackson, 17th Special Operations Squadron director of operations, Kadena Air Base, Japan. “To have someone explain the structure of AFPC on day one was fantastic.”
During a superintendent session, Chief Master Sgt. Jennifer Holton, AFPC Personnel Career Field advisor, and Chief Master Sgt. Regina White, AFPC Logistics and Support Career Field superintendent, joined Lindsey to discuss processes unique to enlisted Airmen. Superintendents valued the opportunity to take part in the course alongside commanders.
“Being able to articulate what AFPC leadership wants and expects provides squadrons with the right ammunition to achieve their missions,” said Master Sgt. Paul Benjamin, 65th Special Operations Squadron superintendent, Hurlburt Field, Florida.
AFPC’s mission involves the total force, military and civilian, and family members. The AFPC squadron commander and superintendent course has been extended to run throughout calendar year 2019. Those interested in attending may contact their MAJCOM/A1 team for details on upcoming class dates and registration. For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit the AFPC public website.