SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
Twenty Company Grade Officers, Senior Non-Commissioned Officers and civilians participated in a Flight Commander’s Leadership Course at Spangdahlem Air Base Dec. 1-3, 2020.
The purpose of the course is to provide an orientation to critical leadership skills and drive individual leadership growth through self-reflection and assessment.
“The goal is for participants to gain a wealth of knowledge and background from experienced Field Grade Officers on how to successfully command a flight,” said Senior Master Sgt. Wanda Williams, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Deployment and Distribution Flight superintendent and FCLC developer. “Participants also learn from multiple base agencies to assist them in caring for their Airmen by having awareness of different programs offered for them and their families.”
Most people in the military are familiar with formal professional military education courses such as Airman Leadership School, Squadron Officer School, or NCO Academy, however, many of these Air Force driven PME courses are not tailored to provide a local perspective.
“It is important to provide leadership courses locally to ensure alignment with the wing’s mission and vision,” Williams said. “Local courses provide the perfect opportunity for networking with different career fields and providing an inside view to specialties we are unfamiliar with.”
Participants found the experience of localized leadership training and the opportunity to discuss different perspectives with others to be beneficial.
“I enjoyed being able to have small group discussions about leadership theory and day to day application in our workspaces,” said Capt. Enrique Villegas Gonzalez, 52nd Operations Support Squadron Airfield Operation flight commander. “Also, it was good to have the opportunity to share experiences and perspectives both with CGOs and SNCOs.”
For many participants, this was their first exposure to military PME or leadership learning, giving them an opportunity and tools to shape their leadership style.
“There is no universal leadership philosophy that is applicable to all Airmen as we are a diverse team composed of individuals from all walks of life,” said 1st Lt. Ramon Montano, 52nd Comptroller Squadron deputy budget officer. “More often than not, military members get caught up with additional duties, relationships, or completing the mission and don’t have the time to study other leadership philosophies. This course was refreshing as it provided me with an opportunity to self-reflect on the past few years of my career, think about where I have done well and where I believe I have come up short.”
Through localized courses like FCLC, leaders at all levels across the organization will be better equipped to meet the Wing’s goal of developing courageous leaders capable of inspiring innovation.
“One of the things that makes the 52nd Fighter Wing stand out across the Air Force is the level of innovation throughout our organization,” said Col. David Epperson, 52nd FW commander. “This starts with leaders who are willing to take smart risks and listen to good ideas from all levels, and it is my hope that the Flight Commanders Leadership Course gave the foundation to develop courageous leaders.”