Monday, February 23, 2015

College leaders visit USAF EC, share best practices

by Capt. Matthew Chism
USAF Expeditionary Center Public Affairs

2/20/2015 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The interim president of Burlington County College and members of the college's executive leadership team visited the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Feb. 12.

This meeting between the two higher education institutions is expected to serve as a launching point for future dialogue.

BCC visitors spent time talking with USAF EC leaders about the future of education and training at the USAF Expeditionary Operations School and sharing organizational best practices. The visitors also received technology demonstrations from course instructors and an overview of the USAF EC's mission supporting Air Mobility Command assets around the world.

"Supporting our military, including active duty, veterans and their families, is an important part of Burlington County College's mission," said Dr. David Spang, Burlington County College interim president. "We look forward to leveraging our longstanding partnership with the Joint Base to create additional educational opportunities, whether it's creating new degree or certificate programs, collaborating on professional development for instructors or helping military members transition to civilian careers."

The USAF EOS educates, trains and exercises Airmen and Joint partners to develop the skills needed to get our nation to the fight and survive and operate in any environment. Whether the training is focused on deploying our nation's assets, conducting command and control, or opening austere airbases, the classes are adapted to the latest tactics, techniques and procedures used in the field to maintain relevant curriculum.

"To maintain the superior agility our nation depends on, the education and training of Airmen must be relevant and responsive," said Maj. Gen. Rick Martin, USAF EC commander. "We will continue to adapt our courses at the EC so they reflect that agility and adequately prepare our force for the future."

Another way that the USAF EOS works to maintain the relevancy and responsiveness of the curriculum is through the professional development of the course cadre. Instructors are chosen from Department of Defense bases around the world, where they are recognized as experts and leaders in their respective career fields. Active, Reserve, Guard, and civilian Airmen arrive at the USAF EC and participate in a rigorous initial instructor training program before they are certified to engage with students. Course cadres also have professional development opportunities available after that initial qualification to further develop their ability to teach expeditionary and mobility skills. The USAF EC promotes visits like this one with higher education leaders to support student and instructor development.

"Not only does a visit like this build upon the outstanding JB MDL and BCC relationships we already have, it also helps us find ways to improve learning for our students and teaching methods for our faculty," said Col. Gary Grape, USAF EC Education and Training director. "It's a home run for all."

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