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Setting the Foundation: 2 AF Human Performance

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trenten Walters
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

As Second Air Force begins efforts to modernize and transform the Air Force’s basic and technical training to keep pace with modern-day, near-peer competitors, the Numbered Air Force will incorporate human performance aspects into its plans to optimize an Airman’s success in training and for the rest of their lives.

“Human performance factors are critical to enhance learning ability,” said Maj. Gen. Michele Edmondson, Second Air Force Commander. “We want to make lasting impacts on an Airman’s lifestyle that carry on throughout their Air Force careers.”

The NAF, which oversees basic military and technical training for 93% of the Air Force, is focused on building what it calls, the “Sixth-Generation Learning Environment,” which will move Air Force training past a one-size-fits-all concept to an environment where Airmen have access to information at all times, incorporates new technologies, and puts the trainee at the center of the education process rather than an instructor.

An essential pillar of this effort will be the enhancement of each Airman’s potential to not only learn the competencies of their career field but to be the best person they can be to meet future challenges.

“Airmen who are properly trained, educated and developed will accelerate change and out-think and out-perform our adversaries,” said Edmondson. “Airmen are our most valuable advantage in today’s great fierce competition.”

Every Airman begins their journey in basic training, where the initial building blocks of resilience, perseverance, self-control, and teamwork are instilled through stressful events preparing them to be physically and mentally resilient.

“Human performance is a variety of disciplines that encompass the mind, body and soul,” said Col Joseph Lopez, Second Air Force, Director of Special Warfare Training. “It's the holistic care and development of our young Airmen, and so the idea is we're investing in humans to be better Airmen, better suited to handle stress, operate independently or autonomously in order to meet the demands of the unknown.”

Optimizing Airmen’s performance involves different factors including nutrition, sleep hygiene, stress tolerance and resilience.

Second Air Force is working toward deliberately infusing and reinforcing these foundational skills into technical training curriculums, Airmanship 200 and throughout the development lifecycle of Airmen.

“We put together an operational planning team that tied in representatives across Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Nineteenth Air Force, Second Air Force, Special Warfare Training Wing, 81st Training Wing and 82nd Training Wing to evaluate how everyone is getting after human performance,” said Lopez. “We’re enhancing the learning environment by using the human performance tools to optimize an Airman’s performance beginning at the foundation of their Air Force experience.”

The goal is to develop empowered Airmen who are adaptable and ready for any challenges to come.

“We are setting the foundation to produce Airmen who can think critically and possess the soft skills of complex decision-making in a war-of-attrition environment, sustaining operations long-term, and enduring physical and mental challenges,” said Lopez. “Preparation of curriculum and practice equals confidence, which equals competent Airmen for the future fight.”