TTOC leads innovation in 2nd AF

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Holly Mansfield
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Innovation comes in all shapes in sizes. Whether it’s the ‘next big thing’ or a simple process change, there’s always a way to improve, streamline and advance the way the Air Force trains its Airmen.

One organization, the 2nd Air Force Technical Training Operations Center, is using the power of innovation and new technology to help refine how Airmen learn their skillsets during technical training through its Airmen’s ideas.

“TTOC is the operational arm for the 2nd AF commander and handles day-to-day operations across every technical training squadron and detachment,” said Brian Davis, 2nd AF TTOC deputy director. “Our three divisions in TTOC do everything from monitoring student production to taking existing curriculums and innovating them to capture the minds and imaginations of more Airmen.”

During the process of improving training courses within 2nd AF, members of the TTOC must test out new ideas for improvement in the classroom before they can be implemented. They’re able to utilize the instructors, military training leaders and students within the 81st Training Group here at Keesler as a testing area for new innovations.

“We’re kind of unique here at Keesler because we’re a tenant unit,” said Davis. “We’re lucky because if we have a new innovative idea that we want to test out in the classroom or have questions then we can go directly to the training group and bounce it off them to see if the idea is worth pursuing. It’s a great testbed for ideas we have to make training easier and more effective. We use the skills and expertise of the local instructors, MTLs and leadership to drive our ideas.”

Each student, from the moment they touch ground at basic military training to the day they graduate from technical training, is directly impacted by the TTOC program because they look closely at everything from class sizes to how the course material is presented, added Davis.

“We’re definitely working toward implementing more technology and newer methodology,” said Col. John Destazio, 2nd AF TTOC commander. “The Battlefield Airmen instructors are currently testing the use of an all-weather tablet out in the field. When BA teams of students go out on team runs, swims, or exercise routines, the instructors can follow with the course lesson plan out in the elements without lugging around paper binders.”

As the program moves to incorporate new technology and teaching methods, they continue to look to Airmen for any ideas they may have.

“Airmen should understand their voices are being heard when it comes to updating the way things work in the classroom,” said Davis. “The time is now for us to look at how our current Airmen learn and react and the types of things they’re comfortable with. Our Airmen coming into the Air Force today have grown up with smart devices. Their lives are on those devices. Why are we not, as an Air Force, using these same devices in our daily work?”

The TTOC also uses online discussion boards, crowdsourcing and surveys to allow anyone to give their input for improvements.

“The 2nd AF Innovation and Training Center is just one part of our efforts to synchronize, integrate, program, deconflict and execute the technical training enterprise,” said Destazio. “Our aim is to be revolutionary as much as innovative in how we conduct technical training now and in the future. We have created a website that can be used for discussion corners, ideation challenge questions and simple survey administration along with wiki capabilities.”

For more information about the TTOC or to join the discussion about new innovations in training check out the TTOC website.