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ADAB’s Learning Resource Center propels education

Airman stocking books on shelf

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Shelbi Bear, Learning Resource Center education and training manager, 380th Expeditionary Forces Support Squadron, stocks new books at the LRC on Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 16, 2021. The LRC offers Professional Military Education programs, educational counseling, onsite classes and testing, as well as movies, games, language learning programs, and quiet study areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez)

Civilian woman working on computer, surrounded by books

Gabriela Hinojosa, University of Maryland Global Campus Europe advanced program coordinator, inputs service member information at the LRC on Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 16, 2021. The LRC offers Professional Military Education programs, educational counseling, onsite classes and testing, as well as movies, games, language learning programs, and quiet study areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez)

Three airmen in learning resource center

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Skyler Locklear, Learning Resource Center library technician, 380th Expeditionary Forces Support Squadron, assists customers at the LRC on Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 16, 2021. The LRC offers Professional Military Education programs, educational counseling, onsite classes and testing, as well as movies, games, language learning programs, and quiet study areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez)

Airman working on computer in learning resource center

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Shelbi Bear, Learning Resource Center education and training manager, 380th Expeditionary Forces Support Squadron, inputs service member information at the LRC on Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 16, 2021. The LRC offers Professional Military Education programs, educational counseling, onsite classes and testing, as well as movies, games, language learning programs, and quiet study areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez)

Airman provides educational counsel to another airman

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Shelbi Bear, Learning Resource Center education and training manager, 380th Expeditionary Forces Support Squadron, discusses resources available at the LRC with a customer at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 16, 2021. The LRC offers Professional Military Education programs, educational counseling, onsite classes and testing, as well as movies, games, language learning programs, and quiet study areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez)

AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --

U.S. Service members who are working towards a degree or completing a professional certification program are in luck when they deploy to Al Dhafra Air Base thanks to the dynamic staff and vast resources provided by the base’s Learning Resource Center.

The LRC at ADAB offers Professional Military Education programs, educational counseling, onsite classes and testing, as well as access and direct links to professional and personal leadership and developmental programs, explained U.S. Air Force Maj. Monica Mason, 380th Force Support Squadron commander. 

“Our LRC here at ADAB is also a University of Maryland Global Campus National Test Center where individuals can take both Defense Activity for Non-traditional Education Support (DANTES) and College Level Exam Program courses in addition to other PME and college exams and qualifying tests such as the Armed Forces Qualification Test, Defense Language Aptitude Battery, Defense Language Proficiency Test and career development course exams,” Mason said. “In addition members can take FAA testing.”

With so many services available, the LRC requires a well-trained and motivated staff to proactively encourage members to further their education goals.

Tech. Sgt. Shelbi Bear, non-commissioned officer in charge of the LRC, is responsible for overseeing the LRC operations and providing education counseling and advice to ADAB Airmen and Soldiers.

“The LRC has a ton to offer team ADAB and many people go their entire rotation without ever stopping by to see what we have,” Bear said. “From free money to use towards college to books, movies, and games, we have a ton to offer.”

Her teammate, Tech. Sgt. Eric Widener, LRC flight chief, agreed that the LRC is often overlooked.

“I would like people to know that we have more to offer than books,” he said. “We have movies, games, CLEP/DSST materials, language learning programs, quiet study areas, on-site college courses and much more. If they stop in, they will most likely find something that meets their needs.”

Bear said the best part of her deployment has been “getting to meet new people and help them achieve their educational and professional goals.”

The entire staff of the LRC has made a significant effort to maximize their impact.

“The LRC served over eleven thousand customers, executed 288 exams, and proctored 623 CLEPS, saving $294 thousand in tuition assistance,” Mason said.  “Additionally, they stood up an Army education benefits training program, training more than 150 Soldiers across six bases in the AOR, supporting the Army Continuing Education System’s mission.”

From the civilians at UMGC to the military members working in the LRC, they take pride in their jobs and their charge to maintain, sustain, and regenerate the Airmen at ADAB by assisting with their personal, professional and educational goals and needs, Mason said.

During the last deployment rotation, the LRC staff hosted ADAB’s first Community College of the Air Force graduation ceremony, honoring over thirty Airmen who completed their CCAF Associate Degree while deployed to ADAB, Mason said.

“Our 380th EFSS vision is Professionalism, Mission Drive and Excellence (P.M.E.), something that I believe our Airmen in the LRC embraced, embodied, and executed on a daily bases,” Mason continued. “The current LRC team went above and beyond to outreach to the wing.”