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Air University Public Affairs
/ Published March 01, 2021
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass visited the Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education Feb. 3, 2021, where she received updates on current initiatives in enlisted development from the Dean of Enlisted Professional Military Education Dr. Kevin O’Meara, the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy Commandant Chief Master Sgt. Gary Szekely, as well as the Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Academy Commandant Chief Master Sgt. DJ Hogan, and their teams.
Bass was briefed on the overhaul to all levels of EPME: the flexible transition to virtual-in residence (V-IR) delivery, created in response to COVID-19, the transformation of the EPME distance learning programs and the reorganization of the Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Course into the Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Academy.
The transformation of EPME programs centered around four program outcomes: mission, leadership, problem solving and culture. These outcomes, developed from strategic guidance, senior leader input and feedback from across the force, ground the programs in the nature of warfare and the fundamentals of military service and leadership. EPME has adopted an agile curriculum development framework that allows rapid adaptation to the ever-changing strategic environment, and enabled the shift in strategic focus from violent extremist organizations to great power competition to be effected in a matter of months. Bass was also updated on innovative efforts to adapt in-resident programs for virtual delivery. Across the organization, curriculum developers, instructors, information technology professionals and registrars created novel ways to do remotely what they were trained to do in person, gaining many efficiencies along the way. The distance learning directorate re-engineered legacy courses from prerequisites to complete courses that mirror the outcomes of the in-resident programs, providing seamless Total Force development. Special attention was given to meeting our adult-learner Airmen where they learn best: via on-demand, device-agnostic programs that give Airmen options on delivery mode such as video, podcasts and text. The EPME update closed by presenting the expanded developmental opportunities for senior enlisted leaders within the CLA. These targeted courses will soon include a Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Course (CLC I) for all new chief master sergeants, a CLC II course for chief master sergeants vectored to strategic positions, and a new Group Superintendent Course aligned with the Eaker Center’s Group Commander Course.
Lt. Col. Melanie Presuto, Community College of the Air Force commandant, brought Bass current on the status of the “CCAF Reimagined” initiative. She began by summarizing the initiative’s five lines of effort, developed through recommendations from the 2019 task force and outcomes of the 2019 Air University Accreditation Reaffirmation. These lines of effort are aimed to posture the college for eminence over the next several decades. Stepping through planned strategic communication efforts, Presuto discussed implementation of seven academic policy changes that underpin the initiative to ensure credit is awarded where credit is earned, award credit using the correct academic models and ensure credit is awarded in line with academic best practices. Bass received an overview of the newly approved Military Technology and Applied Sciences Management associate of science degree set to launch in fall 2021, insight into information technology modernizations, including a new student information system and electronic transcript services, and execution of the Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program. CCAF concluded the presentation with details for implementing the 2020 National Authorization Defense Authorization approval that expanded CCAF degree program eligibility to service members outside of the Air Force participating in CCAF-affiliated courses and schools. Bass was very supportive of the Barnes Center’s strategic direction and lauded its effective response to the challenges the Air Force faces in maintaining the most professional enlisted force in the world. Go to https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Barnes to stay informed