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Enlisted education and training and the SAF/FM strategic plan.

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Each year, FM leadership aligns the FM strategic plan with the Air Force's strategic plan. The strategic plan shapes everything from FM training to the way FM does business throughout the Air Force. In support of FM's mission to deliver expert decision support to commanders, the focus of FM enlisted education and training has shifted to facilitate a decision support culture.

To keep pace with FM's transformation from a transaction to decision support orientation, we updated the content of enlisted education and training courses as well as our methods for delivering them. As FM transformation presses on, we will continue to weave decision support fundamentals into the content of our courses.

Air Force Instruction 36-2201, Volume 5, discusses the process to update or make changes to enlisted education and training, and levies the responsibility for career field management upon the shoulders of the Air Force Career Field Manager (AFCFM). "These individuals are appointed by their respective HQ USAF Deputy Chief of Staff or director to ensure development, implementation, and maintenance of the Career Field Education and Training Plan (CFETP) for their assigned Air Force specialties." AFCFMs have direct communication with Major Command (MAJCOM) Functional Managers (MFM), Air Reserve Component (ARC), and Air Education and Training Command Training Pipeline Manager (AETC TPM) to provide information to the career field on policies and program requirements.

AFCFMs employ the Utilization and Training Workshop (U&TW) to meet with MAJCOM Functional Managers, subject matter experts (SMEs), and the AETC TPM as a means of evaluating the condition and requirements of training. The AFCFM and the AETC TPM together decide whether a U&TW is necessary and determine its goals. Once the need is established, coordination begins with a checklist that outlines how to plan, organize, conduct, and complete all workshop activities and follow-up actions. Next, the AFCFM and the AETC TPM identify workshop attendees and contact them with the meeting date, time, and location. Supporting documentation is gathered for review including Air Force Instructions, policy or procedures, Air Force Policy Directives, and the SAF/FM Strategic Plan.

In March 2007, FM had its enlisted U&TW, the first step in realigning education and training with FM's transformation to a decision support centric enlisted career field. Hosted by FM's then enlisted AFCFM, CMSgt Joe Banks, and AETC TPM, Mr. Teddy Woodland, workshop participants met to review and change existing core enlisted documents and coursework. Workshop participants reviewed the Air Force Enlisted Career Field Description (AFECD), Career Field Education and Training Plan (CFETP), supplemental courses, CDCs, 3 and 7-level courses, Unit Type Code (UTC) task lists, Silver Flag courses, and advanced and basic Comptroller Contingency Familiarization Courses. After a thorough review, they determined decision support skills needed to be added to many courses.

Priority updates from the UT&W included adding decision support tasks to the specialty training standard (STS) Parts I and II of the CFETP and including references to decision support in the AFECD. Also, UT&W participants determined the minimum tasks necessary to support the deployed commander should remain on the UTC task lists. The requirement to complete these task lists in order to upgrade to the 5 and 7-levels ensures a solid foundation for every members' financial deployment skills. The UTC task lists also require Silver Flag training to be updated for XFFA2, Paying Agent training. Following this development, all 3, 5, and 7-level courses were updated with a blend of decision support.

In October 2007, FM SMEs from around the Air Force traveled to Keesler AFB to help build the new Decision Support Journeyman and Craftsman courses. These two courses replace the ALO and Budget supplemental courses. The two courses now offer both decision support skills and basic elements of budget and accounting. A small group of SMEs reviewed the Decision Support Journeyman course in March to give the course a trial run. The decision support elements of these new courses teach students how to give reliable and timely advice in an environment where funds are limited and needs must be justified with sound financial advice.

As described in the strategic plan's FM Vision, sound financial data comes from professional military and civilian personnel who live the core values of integrity, service, and excellence each day. Education and training provides the necessary resources and tools to develop our FM professional. These improvements enhance the FM goal of "preparing and retaining a well-trained and highly educated professional team for today and tomorrow."

During the U&TW, CMSgt Banks emphasized how enlisted education and training ties into the AF and FM Missions. By preparing a well-trained, highly educated professional team for today, we will continue to provide our customers with world-class decision support and financial services tomorrow.

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SMSgt Carol Metzger is the Enlisted Training Manager for the Workforce Management Directorate, SAF/FMPW at the Pentagon.
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Author:Metzger, Carol
Publication:Air Force Comptroller
Date:Mar 22, 2008
Words:806
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