BCEE concludes Foundations IOC, focuses on FOC

  • Published
  • By Brian Ferguson
  • Barnes Center for Enlisted Education

The Barnes Center for Enlisted Education will begin the full operational capability phase of Foundations in March, after concluding its initial operational capability phase, Jan. 30, 2024.

“We started with our first IOC course at Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas, in November 2023,” Chief Master Sgt. Tiffany Jackson-Foster, BCEE chief of Enlisted Professional Military Education, Force Development, said. “We now have enough information to go back and finalize course curriculum based on our lessons learned and inputs from students and faculty.”

The IOC phase included 300, 500 and 700 level courses, comprising 24 classes across four bases. Course locations included JBSA – Lackland, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio and McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee.

“During each IOC course, Airmen were given feedback forms immediately after each lesson,” Foster said. “We had a total of 341 Airmen from 53 career fields providing feedback. Now we are looking for patterns in that feedback that could improve the curriculum.”

As Foundations rolls-out across the force, the major commands will manage and implement the program, to include how and when courses begin and are executed. There will be a 300, 500 and 700 course at every base. BCEE course content will be reevaluated annually.

The five-day courses consist of 32 hours of standardized content created by the BCEE, and eight hours of content developed by the major command, base or wing where the course is taught. Foundations courses will be administered by base developmental advisors with support from local NCOs, SNCOs and subject matter experts.

“Today’s airmen learn faster, and these new courses will match that pace,” said Col. Damian Schlussel, commander of the Barnes Center for Enlisted Education at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Ala.

To ensure a smooth rollout of the Foundation, the Air Force reduced the number of NCOA students for fiscal year 2024 from 3,500 to 1,500 worldwide. This was designed to free up NCOA instructors for mobile training teams, designed to help implement the foundation courses. NCOA student levels are expected to return to normal in fiscal year 2025, Schlussel said.