Dragon Corner

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Michelle Carns
  • 338th Training Squadron commander
The mission of the 81st Training Wing is to train the best Airmen in the world. Our vision is "Training, Fighting, Winning." It takes the effort of every individual on base to develop the Airmen in training at Keesler Air Force Base. As members of the 81st TRW, we want to provide each of you with the tools necessary to mentor and take corrective actions for the Airmen you may see across the base. Every month this "Dragon Mission Corner" will feature an area of standards to which the Airmen in training must adhere. Airmen in training are easily recognized. While performing details in your organization or simply transitioning into the base, we want to ensure all members of Team Keesler are providing the oversight necessary in making our graduates the highest caliber of Airmen when they depart. To do this, you need to know the basic and most common things to look for.

There are two types of students attending training at Keesler AFB. Airmen who are re-training, or continuing their education, who are considered "prior service" Airmen. The second, and largest of the population, are the Airmen who are attending initial technical training following Basic Military Training. These Airmen are considered "non-prior service" Airmen. The easiest way to identify a NPS Airman is the mandatory black backpack they wear.

The NPS population has additional restrictions that they must adhere to while in uniform and during the duty day. Pagers, cellular phones, personal digital assistants, two-way radios, MP3 players, or any other electronic devices are prohibited for NPS Airmen during the academic day while in uniform.

NPS Airmen are seen marching to and from locations across the base. If you see the Airmen in a Small Marching Unit of 2-4 Airmen, they are all required to render the proper salute for officers. In a SMU comprised of 5-12 Airmen, the Airman leading the SMU should salute the officer or vehicle.

According to AETCI 36-2909, Professional and Unprofessional relationships, NPS Airmen are not permitted to socialize in any way (except professionally during the academic day) with prior service individuals, to include prior service students. For example, if you have a friend or family member whose child is attending training; you may not socialize with that Airman while they are in NPS status.

Lastly, if you see poor airmanship being displayed by any NPS student, and you want to contact their supervisor, request an AETC Form 341 from the Airman. This is a mandatory item that all NPS Airmen are required to have on their person at all times. It will identify them; as well as, their Military Training Leader and to which squadron they belong. Keep the 341 and deliver it to their supervisor, commander or anyone in the squadron for further action.

Every member of Team Keesler is key to mentoring and training Airmen. Whether in an academic environment or during normal daily interaction, we are all critical to delivering the highest quality Airmen from the best base in the Air Force.