USAFE hosts first Squadron Superintendents and Spouses course

U.S. Air Forces in Europe superintendents and their spouses pose for a group photo during the USAFE Squadron Superintendents and Spouses course at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 3, 2017.

U.S. Air Forces in Europe superintendents and their spouses pose for a group photo during the USAFE Squadron Superintendents and Spouses course at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 3, 2017. Thirty senior NCOs and 11 spouses attended the week-long course to learn about their role in the squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rachelle Coleman)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa hosted the first command-level squadron superintendents and spouses course Oct. 2-6 here.

Thirty senior NCOs and 11 spouses attended the week-long course to learn about their role within the squadron. The course paralleled the USAFE Commanders Course by providing comparable tools and training that will synchronize and strengthen squadron leadership. The course aligns with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force initiative to revitalize the squadrons and deliberately develop leadership at the tactical level. Spouses were included as they play an important part in the command team, ensuring families are taken care of so that Airmen can focus on their duties.

“What we hope they take back is the fundamentals of being part of a command team, one with the commander, understanding strategic vision and goals, and being able to lead their squadron to success,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Taylor, 435th Air and Ground Communications Group chief and development team member.

Attendees were provided with an operational overview of all USAFE-AFAFRICA mission sets, analyze key issues impacting squadrons, and discuss strategies for developing Airmen and building teams.

“The biggest part is understanding commander and superintendent relationships,” said Taylor. “If you haven’t worked one-on-one with your commander, that’s a lot there, because you have to be honest with them and you can’t tell them what they want to hear all the time. This training is good for understanding what your role is going to be.”

According to Taylor, it’s important that a superintendent and commander are armed with the same information because they don’t lead alone, they lead together.

The development team hopes to host the course twice a year as an enduring presence in the command.

“That’s what being squadron superintendent is about—getting things done for your airmen and making sure you can execute and sustain a vision,” he added.

The spouses’ course was developed to mirror what officers’ spouses are taught at the squadron level.

Yolanda Easton, wife of the USAFE-AFAFRICA command chief, helped to organize the spouses’ portion of the course. The goal was to arm the spouses with information which would help them to provide support to spouses within the squadron.

“I don’t feel like as an enlisted spouse we get any type of training until we are on the command chief candidate list and I feel like that’s too late to reach out to the spouses,” said Yolanda. “If we want to have a strong team at the squadron level then I think everybody needs to be trained up.”

The Squadron Superintendents and Spouses course was developed in line with USAFE-AFAFRICA Command Chief Master Sgt. Philip Easton’s priority of personal and professional development--building a team of strong leaders prepared to mentor, mold and develop Airmen.