ANG-led SNCO Enhancement Course held at 459th ARW

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Tim Smith
  • 459th Air Refueling Wing

The Air National Guard held its Senior Noncommissioned Officer Enhancement Course here at the 459th Air Refueling Wing auditorium during the week of March 20, 2023.

“The purpose of the Senior NCO Enhancement Course is to provide deliberate, but challenging, professional development training to garner performance-based Airmen in preparation for the next level of responsibility in all domains,” said course facilitator, Senior Master Sgt. Jasin Nesmith, New Jersey Air National Guard.

The course provides an opportunity for senior NCOs to better understand their roles and responsibilities as present-day and future leaders regarding Air National Guard specific, State/Wing/Squadron-level, and Total Force associated issues and concerns. However, while held at the 459th ARW, the quarterly course that was exclusive to the ANG was opened to Air Force Reservists for the first time. Now, side by side with its fellow Air Reserve Component force, Reserve senior NCOs in attendance got a chance to learn from their Total Force partners.

“This course offered a perspective of similar challenges the other side of the "ARC" has in how they lead, supervise, and manage their Airman and sections within the Air National Guard,” said Master Sgt. Alicia Lofton, 459th ARW First Sergeant and Resilience Integrator. “At the end of the day, while we wear a different patch, we are all interoperable, and I was able to easily understand the Guard specific concepts we discussed, and feel I could operate in their environment easily.”

The course is designed for highly motivated senior NCOs, like Lofton, in the grades of E-7 and E-8, and it’s deliberately tailored to accelerate change, enhance development, and stimulate self-reflection. It also focuses on ensuring dynamic personal and professional development for all senior enlisted leaders.

“This will allow our Senior NCOs to bridge the gap between Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, Joint Professional Military Education and the Chief Master Sergeant Orientation Course,” said Nesmith. “This course provides information on Air Force and Air National Guard operational mission insight and techniques to enhance soft skills to be resilient and lead Airmen.”

Though the curriculum is immersed with ANG special interest items, it also focuses on ensuring dynamic personal and professional development applicable to all senior enlisted leaders. However, inviting Reserve participation is new for this program, but their participation will be factor in ANG’s review of the curriculum to determine if this course would benefit its total force partners.

“The course was very beneficial to me in that it offered a foundation or 're-bluing' as a SNCO. I have completed all available PME and am always looking for other opportunities to become professionally developed,” said Lofton. “And I would definitely encourage others to attend the course. The additional benefit of the focus on team building, work life balance, and strategic thought brought me to the next level!”

The course was initiated in the spring of 2021, and its overall goal is to transform the mindset and behavior towards Airmen, leadership, and mission accomplishment. About 240 senior NCOs attended this year.