by Airman 1st Class Tammie Ramsouer
JBER Public Affairs
9/24/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- A
tidy classroom is almost dead quiet, with the rumbling sound of an air
vent being the only noise heard. Suddenly the silence is broken with a
vibrant discussion between Airmen and a teacher. These Airmen are
progressing through a one-week training course new to Joint Base
Elmendorf-Richardson to familiarize them with the area and how to be an
Airman in the operational Air Force.
This course at the First Term Airman Center prepares new Airmen for the
road ahead on JBER. Airmen are required to attend the course within 30
days of arrival at their first duty location. The week consists of many
briefs that prepare them for operational duty in the Air Force.
"This program is in place to reinforce lessons learned at Basic Military
Training and technical school," said Air Force Master Sgt. Carrie
Rowland, 673d Force Support Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge
of FTAC and JBER's career assistance advisor. "The course provides
in-processing and transition of first-term Airmen to an operational
mindset as well as a way to network and build relationships with other
Airmen from different Air Force jobs."
The Airmen are in-processed through the FTAC course and begin their training on the first day.
"The Airmen learn dress and appearance," Rowland said. "A full service
dress inspection is conducted on the first day of training."
Virtual Air Force, dorms, healthmart, emergency management, information
assurance, operational security, education center, JBER wildlife,
responsible wingman and many more briefs are given to the Airmen
throughout the week of training.
"The briefings are mandated by Air Force instruction and memorandum
guidance provided by United States Air Force Headquarters," Rowland
said. "Briefings that are provided allow the Airmen to return to their
work centers and their supervisors prepared for the mission."
One Airman's experience with FTAC helped her understand what resources
are available to her before she started her operational job at the
JBER-Elmendorf Fitness Center.
"I wasn't too sure what to expect going through FTAC, I just heard that
it was mainly about wildlife and the precautions to take with wildlife,"
said Airman Tabitha Ellis, 673d FSS fitness apprentice. "When I got to
the training, there was a lot of helpful information. One of my personal
favorites was the Joint Base Against Drunk Driving hotlines and that
you could volunteer for it, which I thought was incredible."
The FTAC training is available every other week, unless there is a holiday, in which case the classes will be back-to-back.
"Some classes, we will have 20 Airmen and others will be to our maximum
capacity of 35," Rowland said. "We have had 410 first term Airmen attend
FTAC already in this fiscal year of 2014."
FTAC provides agencies on JBER the opportunity to interact with Airmen
in order to inform them on what resources are available to them and when
they need to utilize them.
"Going through this training, I made a lot of great friends along with
being more aware of what the Air Force provides," Ellis said. "There is
so much information being thrown at you, but just absorb as much as you
can though the training."
The information Airmen learn during FTAC, is information that can be useful no matter where they go in their careers.
"Our goal is to take care of the first-term Airmen by equipping them
with the knowledge and tools to succeed at their first duty station and
in the operational Air Force," Rowland said.