Training commander completes Vandenberg visit

  • Published
  • By Maj Carol McClelland
  • Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
The commander of Air Education and Training Command brought community leaders from around the country to the 381st Training Group Jan. 29 and 30 to show how space and missile operators and maintainers are trained.

General William R. Looney III brought 24 civilians to Vandenberg in his first AETC Commander's Civic Group meeting this year. The group, which meets bi-annually, is made up of civic leaders from communities near AETC bases and tenant units. The group visits a different AETC location each time.

The civilians learned how the 381st TRG provides qualification training for intercontinental ballistic missiles, space surveillance, missile warning, spacelift, and satellite command and control operators. Additionally, the civic leaders heard command updates and briefings on Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century, unmanned aerial vehicles, and personnel issues such as Force Shaping and the Reduction in Force.

"The quality of the Air Force professionals I've come in contact with amazed me," said Ralph Bender of Bender Associates in San Antonio, who completed his three-year term with the group during this trip. "It's been a fantastic experience and I'm eager to talk to others in the community about what I learned here."

Having the community leaders share what they've learned is important to General Looney. "Vandenberg was a perfect place to showcase the men and women who train space and missile operators and maintainers to provide the day-to-day operation of Air Force Space Command's forces," said General Looney, a previous commander of the 14th Air Force, located here. "The people at the 381st TRG and 30th Space Wing that helped us educate this group did a fantastic job, just like they always do."

As AETC commander, General Looney is responsible for the recruiting, training and education of Air Force people. His command includes the Air Force Recruiting Service, two numbered air forces and Air University. AETC consists of 13 bases, more than 66,000 active-duty members and 15,000 civilians.