By Col. Andres Nazario, 17th Training Wing commander, 17th Training Wing
/ Published January 17, 2020
U.S. Air Force Col. Andres Nazario, 17th Training Wing commander, salutes the formation during the pass in review portion of the 17th TRW change of command ceremony at the parade field on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, June 28, 2019. The pass in review is a military tradition meant as a way for a new commander to inspect the troops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)
U.S Air Force Staff Sgt. Benjamin Myers, 315th Training Squadron instructor displays the functionality of a forward looking infrared camera while setting up a booth while attending Careers Y’all, a youth career fair, at the McNease Convention Center, in San Angelo, Texas, March 6, 2019. The cameras produce imagery based on thermal activity and can be attached to remotely piloted aircrafts for aerial assessments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbey Rieves/Released)
Dr. Carol Bonds, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jayton Washington, 312th Training Squadron instructor, and Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast, commander of Air Education and Training Command, cut the ribbon for a new mobile fire pump at the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, March 20, 2019. Thanks to help from Bonds family and the city of San Angelo, Goodfellow was able to purchase four new pumps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)
The crowd stood as the National Anthem played during the annual San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Military Appreciation Night at the Foster Communications Coliseum in San Angelo, Texas, Feb. 13, 2019. Each year, the association invites military members and their families out to the rodeo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Seraiah Hines/Released)
Participants of the Mental Fitness Obstacle Course attempt to perform tasks involving fine motor skills after completing rounds of physical activity at the event center on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, July 2, 2019. The course is part of a broader learning initiative designed by the 17th Training Group to indoctrinate new technical training students into an active learning environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)
In 2019, Goodfellow trained, developed, and inspired well over 11,000 Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen for the future fight. Our graduates left Goodfellow to support disaster relief from Tyndall to Offutt Air Force Bases, fought wildfires in California, and helped save lives in aircraft mishaps throughout the world. They also provided intelligence collection in deployed locations, while keeping vigilant eyes on China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. They are perhaps the critical linchpin in our National Defense Strategy.
Our young service members also answered the call to serve in their local communities as well as around the globe. Team Goodfellow members were first on the scene to assist local authorities in rescuing a badly-injured man who had become entangled in a boat propeller on Lake Nasworthy; our Airmen provided first aid to several victims stabbed in a bar fight; and a lone Airman rushed to provide immediate assistance to the occupants of an overturned vehicle in Fort Worth. Meanwhile, members of Team Goodfellow taught Sunday school, volunteered at the San Angelo Railroad Museum, and coached little league - to mention just a few of their contributions. They provided San Angelo with approximately 14,000 hours of volunteer time in 2019 - and the passion that came with it. Our service members know what it means to be good citizens - they serve their local communities as well as defend the nation overseas.
Goodfellow also proudly hosted STARBASE, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program, which has educated well over 3,500 students of local communities from Bronte to Wall since 2017 (around 1,500 students in 2019, from 30 schools in 15 districts). We planned and executed annual Christmas bazaars for the local community and retiree appreciation days, as well as multiple clinics, conferences and exercises.
We also welcomed to Goodfellow major decision makers: an Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, the Commander of Air Education and Training Command, the 2nd Air Force commander, the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, as well as representatives from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. We were honored to host our very own Congressman Mike Conaway. These visits kept the base and San Angelo in the plans, strategies, and legislation of those in Austin and Washington, D.C.
We have plenty of numbers: The hundreds of thousands of dollars saved in city-base cooperative programs and partnerships, the participants in Work Force Solutions and Career Placement through the Concho Valley Work Force Development Board, the expansion and savings in cooperative emergency medical technician training with Howard College and the City of San Angelo, the number of best practices shared between Goodfellow and San Angelo Independent School District, and a whole lot more. But it is the smiles and the relationships which transcend the numbers that matter most. Those intangibles should become the sharp focus in our rearview of 2019 as we head into 2020. The housing initiatives, the ceremonies, the building and remodeling and budget analysis all come down to people living their best lives, becoming their best selves, while defending our nation and strengthening our community.
Our great nation faces significant challenges. Near-peer adversaries had significant success in exploiting the divisions within our country, largely through the internet, and particularly through social media. In response, Goodfellow is leaning forward to step-up its cyber security training. Additionally, we think and speak in terms of artificial intelligence and other advanced technology. Therefore, Goodfellow is expanding its mission and vision to become not only a national, but also a global hub of lifelong learning and development for our service members.
The Goodfellow way of accomplishing our mission encompasses sustaining our innovative Learning Next programs, improving housing, strengthening our resilience, and maintaining our fantastic relationship with San Angelo. The results include a holistic approach to learning - much of which is done outside the classroom. The way ahead - the Goodfellow campus of the future - also includes greater responsiveness to stakeholders. We intend to improve infrastructure and technology, create and maintain strong, vibrant partnerships, and initiate innovative programs to transform Goodfellow into the global knowledge distribution center of the future. Working with San Angelo, we are making terrific progress on all of these goals. Bottom Line…. the state of Goodfellow has never been stronger.