Air Force Program Trains Leaders From Across the Country

Wichita Falls, TX. - An air force program that draws hundreds of potential new leaders to Sheppard Air Force base every year is now running at full capacity.

Nearly two hundred airmen will graduate from the Sheppard Non-Commissioned Officer Academy this Thursday.

The program is one of only eleven in the world.

This group has been here for six weeks brushing up on their communication skills, professionalism and military studies

"The teachers have been teaching us things that we can take back to the base, but the best part of it is the networking, meeting all the other career fields," said Technical Sergeant Kathrine Eliason from Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

The training enables them to step up in management roles and teaches them to interact with airmen of all levels.

"Not having them solve the problems and tell people how to do it but they are actually going to guide their subordinates through it,"said Superintendent of Communication Master Sargent David Wiggers.

Lessons learned during the class reach beyond the textbook and enable airman to learn from people they normally wouldn't meet.

"It brings us from all different bases to come together and get different opinions and ideas. Also it reminds us of the heritage that we can continue forward," said Eliason.

She says coming together with other airmen gives them a renewed sense of involvement in the air force because they rarely get to work outside of their careers.

"We have gotten complacent in our career fields with all the deployments and everything we need to learn to understand each other, to be more resilient and just communicate and be able to tell the people above us what we're feeling, what we need and then taking it down to the airmen," said Eliason.

Airman round out their training by getting involved in the community.

This year they volunteered with habitat for humanity, the wounded warrior program and meals on wheels.

 The NOCO class is offered seven times a year.

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