Buckley AFB ALS creates history

Tech Sgt. Travis Jackson and Staff Sgt. Daniel Johnson, Buckley Air Force Base Airman Leadership School instructors, pose for a photo in the Airmen Center for Excellence hallway Oct. 24, 2017, on Buckley AFB, Colo. Buckley AFB’s Airman Leadership School is expanding its capabilities in order to better support Team Buckley. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Katrina M. Brisbin/Released)

Tech Sgt. Travis Jackson and Staff Sgt. Daniel Johnson, Buckley Air Force Base Airman Leadership School instructors, pose for a photo in the Airmen Center for Excellence hallway Oct. 24, 2017, on Buckley AFB, Colo. Buckley AFB’s Airman Leadership School is expanding its capabilities in order to better support Team Buckley. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Katrina M. Brisbin/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Change. It’s an inevitable force for most but a way of life for the military. One shop at Buckley Air Force Base is going through a major change in a short amount of time.

Buckley AFB’s Airman Leadership School is expanding its capabilities in order to better support Team Buckley. Until just a few short months ago, the schoolhouse was only able to support 16 Priority One and Priority Two students every class cycle. Priority One Airmen are all regular active duty staff sergeants and senior airmen that are selected for promotion, meaning they have a line number. Priority Two Airmen are all regular active duty senior airmen that have between three and six years’ time in service and no line number. Because of this fact, and that more than 100 Senior Airmen were presented with line numbers in August of 2017, leadership decided that change was in order.

Set in motion by Chief Master Sgt. Rodney Lindsey, 460th Space Wing command chief, a team composed of members from the 460th Force Support Squadron, 460th Space Communications Squadron and 460th Civil Engineer Squadron have worked to expand the school houses capabilities and the schoolhouse itself. The goal - to facilitate nearly double the amount of students allowing more opportunities for Priority Three and eventually Priority Four members. Priority Three members include Air Reserve Component members and Priority Four members include eligible Air Force and Department of Defense civilians, sister service E-4s and approved international students.

Over the past two and a half months, the team has worked to get the $240 thousand expansion completed.

“One of our priorities is to develop professional leaders,” said Lindsey. “In order to do that across the Air Force there has to be an investment and that’s just what we’ve done. We are creating a meaningful place for our Airmen to receive this education.”

By investing in the school house, Team Buckley leadership hopes to broadcast a very specific message.

“We want to communicate a couple things to our folks,” said Lindsey. “First off, we care about you and your professional development. We also want to set you up for success and we want to make you the best leader you can be.”

In order to potentially achieve this success, specific updates to the facility needed to be accomplished. For instance, a classroom had to be converted, a computer lab created and dearly double the equipment and training materials had to be ordered all before class starts mid-October.

All of these changes have been described as both exciting and intense for ALS’s two instructors, Tech Sgt. Travis Jackson and Staff Sgt. Daniel Johnson. This expansion has also brought another aspect to the table for these instructors - competition.

“I’ll say, it’s a little nerve wrecking to know that for the first time in my time at the school house, I’ll be in competition,” said Jackson. “It’s good, healthy and fun, but it adds a certain amount of friendly rivalry amongst the instructors.”

This competition also allows the instructors to take ownership of their flights and make their mark in Buckley AFB history by naming their own flights.

“It’s pretty awesome actually,” said Johnson. “It’s really cool to be the first to do something like this here. I look forward to class starting.”

Flights Raptor and Warthog start class bright and early Wednesday, October 25th.