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Edwards First Term Airman’s Center expands into new realm

  • Published
  • By Christopher Ball
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The First Term Airman’s Center here is shifting its services to better serve Team Edwards.

According to Master Sgt. Andre Brooks, FTAC had become not much more than in-processing for new Airmen.

“Our goal is to move away from in-processing and more toward professional development,” Brooks said.

While FTAC is being transformed across the Air Force, Edwards is taking the lead on infusing Airmanship into the FTAC program for Air Force Materiel Command.

“We incorporated the mission of ‘test’ into our FTAC program,” said Chief Master Sgt. Todd Simmons, 412th Test Wing command chief.  “Airmen receive a five-hour immersion into various missions to include JSF, F-22, BAF, etc. Additionally, uniform inspections and leadership accountability are enforced on day one of training.”


Simmons said the most unique addition to FTAC here is the "handoff ceremony."


"We gather at the end of the course to reflect on the importance of Airmanship and welcome each Airman to the 412th Test Wing. It is required that a member in the Airman's chain of command is present to welcome them to their organization,” Simmons said.


“This program is important to build upon the skills learned in technical training to successfully transition correctly into the operational Air Force,” the chief said.


Staff Sgt. Adam Joachim, noncommissioned officer in charge of the First Term Airmen Center, said another new addition to the FTAC services is Airman Professional Enhancement Courses, or APEC.


“The purpose of APEC is to fill the gap between FTAC and (Airman Leadership School) by providing professional development for junior enlisted Airmen,” Joachim said.


Course topics include the enlisted force structure, Airman comprehensive assessments and enlisted performance reports, bullet writing and career progression.


“The target audience for APEC is senior airmen and below who haven't attended ALS,” Joachim said. “However, Edwards Professional Development Center does offer classes to sister services and civilians, such as the Thrift Savings Plan brief. Our main goal is to get needed information out sooner. We want to deliberately develop our young leaders early on.”


For more information about upcoming FTAC events, see the Edwards AFB FTAC Facebook page.