Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education
/ Published October 04, 2019
Air Force Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) is created and provided through the Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, named after the service's fourth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Thomas N. Barnes, the first African-American to attain the highest enlisted position in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The principal instructional method for all Air Force EPME is guided discussion, in which students share ideas, experiences, and work together to achieve various educational objectives. Formative evaluations are an integral part of the curriculum and serve as feedback tools for the student and instructor. Summative objective and performance evaluations are used to determine whether the educational requirements outlined in the course are met. EPME courses include fitness and drill and ceremony components as well as formal lectures and academic research projects.
Air Force EPME courses have been approved for college credit in the Leadership, Management & Military Science discipline of the service's Community College of the Air Force Associate in Applied Science degree programs.
Provide the continuum of education necessary to inspire and develop enlisted leaders with the moral framework of integrity, service and excellence.
Expand the leadership ability of enlisted leaders and strengthen their commitment to the profession of arms by integrating sound leadership, communication skills, and military studies principles and concepts throughout the continuum of education.
Schools, Courses, and Programs
Airman Leadership School (ALS) is an Air Force education program held at base level to prepare senior airmen for positions of greater responsibility. The course teaches leadership skills required of supervisors and reporting officials throughout the Air Force. ALS enhances the development of senior airmen by strengthening their ability to lead, follow, and manage while they gain a broader understanding of the military profession. ALS is attended by Senior Airmen (E-4) and required for promotion to Staff Sergeant (E-5).
The Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) is the second level of enlisted PME and prepares technical sergeants to be professional, war-fighting Airmen who can manage and lead Air Force units in the employment of airpower.
The Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (AFSNCOA) is the third level of enlisted PME. AFSNCOA prepares senior NCOs to lead the enlisted force in the employment of airpower in support of US national security objectives. There is a single resident AFSNCOA located at Maxwell AFB–Gunter Annex.
The Chief Master Sergeant Leader Course (CLC) is the capstone and pinnacle level of enlisted professional military education (EPME). The CLC provides Chief Master Sergeants the education to bridge strategic vision into tactical execution. Throughout the program, the CLC emphasizes critical thinking and an enterprise-level view in order to educate, inspire, and develop Chief Master Sergeants into strategic-level leaders who effectively lead, manage, and mentor lethal and ready organizations.
The Enlisted Professional Military Education Instructor Course (EPMEIC) strives to produce noncommissioned officers who can both teach and lead effectively in and out of the classroom. The curriculum is designed to heighten students’ appreciation for and understanding of classroom fundamentals, technical skills associated with EPME classrooms, and the typical day-to-day performance expected of EPME professionals. EPMEIC teaches methodologies that are very specific to EPME and is considered the “gateway” for an EPME instructor.
The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is a federally-chartered academic institution that serves the United States Air Force's enlisted total force. We partner with 112 affiliated Air Force schools and 300 Education Service Offices located worldwide to serve approximately 270,000 active, guard, and reserve enlisted personnel, making CCAF the world's largest community college system.
The Barnes Center is also home to the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute (EHRI). EHRI is dedicated to preserving the rich and dramatic heritage and tradition of the enlisted corps of the US Air Force dating back to the US Army Aeronautical Division, Army Air Service, Army Air Corps, and Army Air Forces.