The Air Force will begin providing squadron leadership training for commanders and superintendents, the units’ senior enlisted leaders.
The new centralized course through Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, was announced Tuesday by Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
It’s the latest development in the Air Force’s push to revitalize squadrons, one of Goldfein’s top priorities.
The one-star heading up that effort, Brig. Gen. Stephen Davis, said Wednesday that he expects to deliver his task force’s recommendations to Goldfein by November.
“One of the things the chief asked me to do was, ‘If there are things you find out along the way that don’t have to wait until you come back in November with your final report, we should get after those right away,’ “ Davis said.
The squadron leadership course was one of those, he said. Others have included the directives to eliminate unnecessary duties and purge unnecessary Air Force instructions, give commanders a heads up on promotions, and provide more support staff for squadrons.
More changes are on the way.
“Literally, my team is back at the Pentagon right now building those recommendations,” Davis said. “It’s a little premature to talk about … what they are, but we’re working with a number of other folks to come up with those. They’ll be in the final report.”
But airmen can expect clearer guidance on whether they, and their squadrons, are succeeding, Davis said.
“One of the areas we saw that we think is important is the ability of squadrons to identify what their specific manner of success is, then be able to measure and track that,” he said. “We saw that the best squadrons were able to do that, and that had a very positive effect on leadership and the members of the squadron understanding their link to the mission and to the defense of the nation.”
An overhaul of the officer evaluation system is also in the works, Davis said, echoing what other senior leaders have been saying in recent months.
“There’s been some significant changes to the enlisted evaluation system, and those have largely been positive, but we think our officer evaluation system needs to change,” Davis said.
“It’s been out there for about 30 years,” he noted. “We don’t believe it’s providing very good feedback to our officer corps, and we think that’s an area for improvement as well.”