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Vance signs agreement with Altus AFB to host ALS

  • Published
  • 71st FTW Public Affairs
It took two commanders from two bases coming together Nov. 21 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow Team Vance to host two Airman Leadership School classes in 2015.

For many years, senior airmen selected for promotion to staff sergeant have been attending ALS, the professional military education course required to sew on staff sergeant stripes, at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

"Team Vance will now get to celebrate and take park in an ALS class here on their own soil," said Chief Master Sgt. Peter Speen, the 71st Flying Training Wing command chief. "They will perform Reveille and Retreat and will participate in wing physical training, and round table discussions with chiefs, shirts and NCOs from Vance."

Speen led the battle to host ALS here, copying an idea he was part of at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

Assisting Speen was Senior Master Sgt. John Horton, the 71st FTW career assistance advisor.

The move to host ALS at Vance has benefits grounded not only in promoting the tradition and heritage of the 71st FTW, but also in supporting Air Education and Training Command efforts to embrace a cost-conscious culture, said Horton.

It's more fiscally sound to bring a few instructors to Vance twice a year than to send 30 plus Airmen on a temporary duty assignment to Altus, he said. 

The classes will be held at the Professional Development Center. Speen believes it will eliminate some stresses that are placed on Airmen who had to go TDY to Altus.

"The stress of a TDY will be removed, and an Airman will be at home going through their first and most important part of PME," said Speen. "A supervisor is just a call and a couple of minutes away from getting answers or help during the class, vice having to drive 3.5 hours for the same type of assistance."