The First Mobile Professional Military Education Course

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt Chauncey Reed
  • 188th Wing

A historic milestone was achieved as the first-ever mobile professional military education team of instructors arrived in Arkansas to train and educate today's Airmen for tomorrow's fight at the inaugural off-site Non-Commissioned Officers Academy (NCOA). The I.G. Brown Education and Training Center dispatched top-notch instructors from the renowned Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee, to the 188th Wing, Arkansas Air National Guard at Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith.

This groundbreaking initiative aims to enhance the professional development of Air National Guard non-commissioned officers (NCOs) by delivering specialized training directly to their home stations. The move serves as a testament to the commitment of the United States Air Force in cultivating a highly skilled and competitive force.

"Professional military education (PME) plays a pivotal role in developing our Airmen into weapons to more effectively compete and deter our adversaries," said Master Sgt. Nicholas Bonello, lead instructor. "By bringing the NCOA training to the doorstep of our Air National Guard units, we ensure accessibility and continuity for our enlisted force.”

The off-site NCOA program comprises three flights of future leaders that graduated on Wednesday, June 28. Throughout the rigorous curriculum, students undergo comprehensive training in leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills.

Due to mission requirements, course availability and home responsibilities, some Airmen may not have the opportunity to attend an in residence NCOA course. This mobile course fills a developmental gap by merging the Air Force’s need for trained, skilled Airmen with consideration of limiting factors that could diminish an individual’s ability to attend a traditional in residence course.

"By taking the education to our Airmen's doorstep, we eliminate the burden of leaving home while still enabling them to focus on professional growth," said MSgt. Nicholas Bonello. "This pioneering initiative sets a precedent for how we can adapt and optimize our training methods to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

According to MSgt Bonello, this mobile training course is part of the Air Force's commitment to adaptability and flexibility in meeting the needs of our multi-capable Airmen and the continuously evolving security landscape. By empowering Airmen with the necessary tools and knowledge, the Air National Guard strives to maintain a competitive edge and ensure mission success.

"The knowledge and expertise we gain from this course will undoubtedly bolster our capabilities and enable us to excel in our roles as NCOs,” expressed Tech Sgt. Matthew Williams, a participant in the course. “Leaving home to attend PME is not always a viable option for some of us due to our families and responsibilities at home. This mobile course provides us with an opportunity to attend PME, that otherwise we would not have.

The mobile professional military education team's arrival in Arkansas marks a significant milestone, underscoring the Air Force's unwavering commitment to developing the next generation of skilled and competent leaders who can effectively deter and outmatch adversaries on the battlefield.