By Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson, 120th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 15, 2011
Great Falls, Mont -- The days of studying key information that you highlighted in Air Force career development courses (CDCs) are long gone, says the 120th Fighter Wing training and education manager.
Senior Master Sgt. Tiffany Franklin says that for most Air Force job specialties the multiple volume, heavy paper CDCs have been replaced with online computer based training (CBT) courses.
Many ancillary training subjects have also transitioned to the CBT method of learning. The Total Force Awareness (TFA) training currently includes 16 subjects due for members to complete on a one time, annual or biennial basis.
The high-tech change is not only saving trees, but it's become more efficient as the Air Force adds additional education requirements to an already tight training schedule.
Sergeant Franklin estimates that between the ancillary training, professional military training and the various new electronic CDCs there are between three and four hundred online courses available. Unit members can complete many of these courses while logged on
"Computer based training is flexible, it's interactive. On guard drills we're trying to fit 30 hours of work into two eight hour days. It just doesn't work, so it's a good thing for guardsmen to be able to do it on their own time," said Sergeant Franklin.
Master Sgt. Connie Fertterer serves an additional duty in the 120th Logistics Readiness Squadron as a unit training manager. She schedules and tracks the training of 76 members of her squadron, teaches in the classroom environment and often troubleshoots CBT technical issues. The quality of the education provided by the CBT is directly related to the amount of time and effort put forth by the member, she said.
"The CBTs are of a very good quality, I have to admit that. If you sit there and actually go through them there's a lot of information, a lot of knowledge and most of them are well put together," said Sergeant Fertterer.
The introduction of CBTs to the Air Force training program has placed more emphasis on an individual's responsibility to complete the required training.
"We need to take the responsibility to train, so I do think that they need to step up and complete their training," said Sergeant Fertterer.
Sergeant Franklin considers the CBT training to remain the standard for delivering Air Force CDC and ancillary training. During the last 60 days two new CBTs have been issued for personnel to complete. The repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy and the Frontline Supervisor's Training are new mandatory subjects.
"It just seems to be the best way for the Air Force to implement training and get it done quickly. I definitely see more computer based training coming in the future," said Sergeant Franklin.