Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Airmen participate in their first briefings at their newest base

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.

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