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Military Connection: Air Force to Open New Nuclear Training Center

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By Debbie Gregory.

The Air Force Global Strike Command recently unveiled plans to create a new education center, designed to train leaders in the nuclear field.

The new facility will be known as the Nuclear Leadership Development Center, and will be housed at Barksdale Air Force Base, near Bossier City, Louisiana. The Global Strike Command intends for the center to help educate nuclear airmen, and make them better leaders. The new facility will help ensure that airmen get the proper training, find opportunities for assignments, and assist them in reaching their full career potential, while complementing other educational and professional development programs.

The Global Strike Command pushed for the new facility after growing concerns over the Air Force’s lack of focus on the branch’s nuclear mission, and the shortage of development opportunities for airmen in the nuclear field. The Global Strike Command hopes that the creation of the Nuclear Leadership Development Center will allow the Air Force to address those shortcomings, while bringing back a nuclear focus to the command’s education and professional development programs.

The Air Force has not yet released a date for the center’s opening, as the project is still in the planning stages. The Air Force is still developing a curriculum of both classroom and online training courses for airmen to take.

The center will first develop a curriculum of nuclear education and professional development for officers, and will later develop similar curriculum for enlisted personnel, as well as one for civilians. The purpose of the Nuclear Leadership Development Center will be to create a culture that inspires leaders and makes them nuclear experts.

A facility of this type will prove to be beneficial to the service members and civilians who are selected for education. Whether they choose to continue to serve in the Air Force, or other departments of the DOD, or eventually move on to become civilian contractors, training at a facility such as this could really boost both military and civilian careers.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Air Force to Open New Nuclear Training Center: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: USAF to Open All Jobs to Women: By Debbie Gregory

Women in the AF

The U.S. Air Force is looking to open direct-combat related occupations to female airmen by spring, 2016.

The Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James, recently announced that she intends to open seven Air Force occupation specialties to women. Sec. James said that the Air Force is in the process of developing gender-neutral standards for the positions. Once these policies can be established, the spots will be open to anyone who is qualified to fill them.

There are only seven Air Force jobs that are currently closed to female airmen. These occupations include: combat control team, combat rescue officer, pararescue, special operation weather (officer and enlisted), special tactics officer, and tactical air control party (TACP). TACPs make up a critical combat occupation specialty, where airmen are assigned to infantry units to coordinate in-close air support from USAF aircraft against enemy targets.

Secretary James’ plan will bring the Air Force in line with the other service branches as to what they are doing to open combat jobs to women.

Back in January, 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered all service branches to open all combat jobs to female service members by 2016, or explain why any must remain closed. The Pentagon lifted its ban on women serving in such roles in 2012, but gave the services time to integrate female troops into the male-only, front-line positions.

Currently, women make up about 15% of the U.S. military’s 1.3 million active-duty service members.

In similar efforts, the Navy began allowing female officers to serve on submarines as early as 2010, but has yet to formulate a plan to integrate women into its Basic Underwater Demolition school programs, which includes the Navy SEALs.

The Marine Corps began allowing women to take the Infantry Officer Course, however, no female officers have yet to pass the demanding 13-week program.

In September, the Army announced that it is considering admitting females into their elite Ranger School.

One of the big hang-ups for women moving into the most elite combat roles is that the military will not lower any standards for women. Women are expected to perform at the same standards as men in order to qualify. The Marine Infantry Officer Course is the best example of this. Nearly everyone in uniform agrees that standards need to remain strict. But most people agree, if any service member can qualify for a position, they deserve to work in billets for that occupation.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: USAF to Open All Jobs to Women: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: USAF Prepares for Future Foes: By Debbie Gregory

041016-F-2171A-001Since 2001, the U.S. military has been engaged in constant warfare against enemies who do not possess anywhere near the level of technology and training that our forces have. Because the fighting has been mainly ground combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, our Air Force has been mostly grounded, in terms of both fighting aerial battles and researching new advancements in warfare that would be needed to fight an opponent closer to our technological equal.

During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of the budget for every military branch was spent on manpower and logistics needed for those campaigns. Training for fighting advanced military forces took a backseat.

Now that our forces are currently out of Iraq and in the process of withdrawing from Afghanistan, the Air Force is the first branch to jump at the opportunity to prepare itself to fight an adversary that possesses advanced weaponry and defense systems.

This entails training jet pilots to combat surface-to-air missiles, in order to expose them to as-close-to combat scenarios as possible. During the Vietnam War, the Air Force discovered that most pilots were going to get shot down within their first ten combat missions. With that in mind, if the Air Force can make their training as complex and representative to combat as can be, they can almost provide the equivalent of the pilots’ first ten missions in a training environment, thus sending more experienced pilots into the skies.

One of the main training centers for training of this type is held at Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas. Nellis is home to the Air Force’s Red Flag air combat exercise. Red Flag provides Air Force pilots with the intense, chaotic training regiments that are intended to replace a new pilot’s first ten missions. Programs such as Red Flag saw a huge drop in funding during the past twelve years of war.

With constant threats of war looming in several corners of the world, the danger of possibly having to fight an opponent closer to our operational capabilities is real. Russia’s daily infringement on Ukraine’s sovereignty, the war in Gaza, and the ever-present possibility of increased tensions with North Korea, Iran and a number of other nations could send America to war with countries that are equipped with weapons more advanced than those of Al Qaida and the Taliban.

Let us hope that diplomacy will continue to keep our nation’s citizens and interests safe from harm. But our military needs to be prepared in case the day comes when diplomacy fails.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: USAF Prepares for Future Foes:   By Debbie Gregory