An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Airpower Leadership Academy: The Key to all is Commitment

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kelly Goonan, 332d Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The 332d Air Expeditionary Wing senior noncommissioned officers recently held a nine-week Airpower Leadership Academy for a select group of 332d AEW technical sergeants and staff sergeants here in Southwest Asia.

ALA is a leadership training program designed for supervisors and challenges them to develop their professional values and personal leadership philosophy. Each week consisted of a single two-hour class led by senior noncommissioned officers (SNCO).  These SNCOs facilitated conversation based on real-life experiences that aligned with the weekly topic which included Purpose-Cause-Belief; Leadership, Management & You; Empowerment/Effective Influence; Ego and Teamwork; The Tough Call; Leveraging Diversity; and Work-Life Balance.

“ALA aims to provide an environment where students and facilitators can grow from open and honest conversation about the challenges of leadership in the Air Force. The senior enlisted share their firsthand experiences about the weekly topics, and attendees dissect and discuss the experiences to learn what worked well and what could have been handled differently or better,” Senior Master Sgt. Susan Erdrich said. “Additionally, a senior mentor is appointed for each class to provide an even more experienced perspective and to help students shape their personal leadership philosophy throughout the course.”

Key components of ALA include leadership development, peer network building, and leadership support. The goal is for the attendees to cultivate their personal leadership style using the experiences of leaders at all levels and their peers as a guide for what they value and will choose to embody.

“The facilitators are Red Tail SNCOs with a passion for mentorship and positive guidance. They are volunteers that are recommended by their leadership to guide and inspire our NCOs to excel beyond their self or system-imposed leadership capacity and reach their full leadership potential,” she said.

During the course, NCOs discovered and articulated their understanding of the five pillars of ALA; Relationships, Expectations, Academics, Character, and Health (REACH). This five-pillar concept was developed by ALA curriculum developers to articulate the perspective that one has to REACH to be a successful leader. As an action verb, the mnemonic reach conveys that leadership is not a passive "let it happen" attribute; rather one that demands a focused and intentional approach to deliberately develop sustainable leadership qualities.

The Air Expeditionary Wing's Airpower Leadership Academy is one of its many initiatives that support and enhance the 332d Wing's foundational priorities to cultivate and strengthen relationships as well as develop and take care of its warfighters.