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RAF Feltwell ALS implements virtual course

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christopher S. Sparks
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
As Airmen progress through their careers and become first line supervisors, they are required to complete Airman Leadership School as part of their professional military education before officially becoming non-commissioned officers.

Despite restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mathies Airman Leadership School at RAF Feltwell developed and implemented a virtual class at no cost to the U.S. Air Force in effort to continue their mission of molding future leaders.

“We had to look at alternate options to get our frontline supervisors the mandatory and the training they need to become NCOs,” said Master Sgt. Alicia Goetschel, Mathies ALS commandant.

During their time at ALS, students are provided hands-on leadership training while also developing the traits and skills to fully understand the responsibilities of an NCO.

Using a proactive approach, the ALS instructors and commandant quickly began condensing their curriculum, which was designed for seven classes -- each including 24 days of training per class -- to fit the new limitations placed before them.

“The Mathies ALS cadre are phenomenal, and they put a lot of work into developing this virtual course and executed it in just over a week,” Goetschel said. “Our team took every single one of our lesson plans and refurbished them to be deliverable on a virtual platform and we were able to do this at zero cost to the U.S. Air Force.”

Instructors focused on two main objectives when planning the virtual course: what was best for the students and what was best for the unit.

“We wanted to maintain student and instructor safety,” said Tech. Sgt. Everett Copp, Mathies ALS instructor. “With this class we’re still able to develop supervisors and still able to deliver that leadership, just virtually.”

The class provides the students virtual discussion boards, face-to-face interactions and guest speakers for the students, ensuring they meet all curriculum objectives.

“We had to look at alternate options to get students the training they need to become NCOs,” Goetschel said. “We didn’t want to just, ‘check a box,’ we wanted to make sure we delivered a good product.”

Without any delay, the implementation of the virtual course at Mathies ALS has successfully continued their mission of developing NCOs and demonstrates the innovative and problem-solving culture of the U.S. Air Force.