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Edwards AFB’s Flight Commander and Flight Chief course first in AFMC to go virtual

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

The Edwards Training and Education Center recently completed its first-ever virtual Flight Commander and Flight Chief Course, graduating five students, at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The course is the first of its kind to be offered virtually. The move to become virtual was necessitated largely as a response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Vita Evans, Education Services Officer.

“We don’t know how long COVID is going to go on, but we know we want this information to go out to the Flight Chiefs and leaders,” Evans said. “So much of the information is useful, if you want to be good at your job, I highly recommend taking it.”

The course was originally conducted quarterly and in-person, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Evans and the rest of the Education Center team thought outside the box, or the classroom, in this particular situation.

The team focused on providing course material that leaders could use in their positions. They crafted a website that provided students with videos from subject matter experts. The course work also provides discussions for students to learn from each other from their different experiences.

Students are provided a website address are able to go through the coursework at their own pace throughout the week. Facilitators are able to monitor class participation and attendance during that week.

The course topics include three modules: Module One covers safety, the administration process and facilities, Module Two covers education opportunities, military tuition assistance, force management, awards and decorations, human resources and manpower. Finally, Module Three covers procurement, finance, resource stewardship and contracting.

Evans explained that she’s had experience with online classes and aimed for a different experience.

“I know how to do online courses I know what's expected. So I wasn't happy,” Evans said. “I wasn't happy with just looking at five hours of speakers. That is not a course, in my opinion.”

Evans and her team designed a course through SharePoint which incorporated those three modules and discussion board posts. Modules include video presentations from on-base subject matter experts. This allows students to “meet” these experts and are also provided up-to-date contact information for them. Students can then reach out to them for additional information or during real-time situations.

“The discussion board is to assess what was learned, and then also we want feedback on the course so the students have to do a survey after each module,” Evans said. “The survey questions not only check for learning, but to see if they can actually apply the learning to a new leadership position.”

Even through working through technical challenges and logistics, feedback has been positive, Evans said. The course is available to everyone who is coded as a flight commander or chief, and Evans and the rest of the Education Center Team highly suggest that those who are able to take the course to sign up for it.

“We really want it to be friendly,” she said. “We want all of the information to get to the members; we want to see if students are able to utilize the material. The response has been pretty good, everybody learns differently, but based on what we have available until we open back up. I think it's a great alternative.”

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.