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20th CMS expands learning opportunities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Isaac Nicholson
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Noncommissioned officers within the 20th Component Maintenance Squadron developed the Ready Airman Initiative to provide training and resources to their Airmen, while meeting shift schedule demands.

The Ready Airman Initiative provides a way for 20th CMS members to attend professional development seminars that can benefit their Air Force careers, while also supporting the manning requirements of the squadron.

“Many members of leadership saw that our Airmen were not getting the professional development that they deserved, so my predecessor began these seminars to bring those resources and knowledge to our Airmen,” said Master Sgt. Andrea Caldwell, 20th CMS electronic warfare section chief.

Before the seminars began, 20th CMS Airmen were surveyed to narrow down the topics that interested them most, which included subjects like the Air Force’s Enlisted Commissioning Program, the importance of feedback, conflict resolution and overcoming career setbacks.

“I have noticed a change in my Airmen since we conducted the importance of feedback seminar,” said Tech. Sgt. Keith Boudreau, 20th CMS avionics intermediate section noncommissioned officer in charge. “The Airmen seem more apt to seek feedback from their supervisors and are confident knowing that leadership has got their back and really cares what they think.”

In order to increase readiness for its members, Shaw’s fighter generation squadrons are looking to send their Airmen to the 20th CMS seminars as well.

“This is a great opportunity to combat the isolation that often comes in maintenance squadrons and to have one centralized location where Airmen and leadership can learn from each other,” said Caldwell.

20th CMS leadership plans to transition this initiative into the already established Airman for Life program, which includes a different approach to mitigating the manning of the squadron, dedicating a full workday for its Airmen to attend professional development seminars and attend to personal appointments in order to increase readiness.

“I think something that’s been really good about the Ready Airman initiative is that it has similar bones and structure to the Airman for Life program,” said Caldwell. “It will allow us to split our sections into teams that can help us keep up with manning while also having a focus on resiliency for our Airmen. This will really help us give them some time back.”