JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – The Air Education and Training Command’s Arnold Group recently completed a holistic assessment of the future operational environment through the lens of the Force Development mission that provides conclusions that are operationally relevant and meaningful to Airmen and commanders.
The goal of the Force Development Environment Assessment (FDEA), which was approved by AETC commander Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson and briefed at the Force Development Summit Dec. 2, is to provide senior leaders with decision-quality information about aspects of the most probable factors impacting the future of force development to help accelerate the change needed to produce combat-credible Warfighters through education and training that is mission-focused, competency-based, and Airmen-centric.
“This assessment, which was shared at the highest levels of Air Force leadership, serves as a foundation to inform and shape force development strategy across the DAF,” said Dr. Randy Coats, Headquarters AETC A9 Analysis and Innovation directorate’s executive director. “By investing the time to think deeply about the future of how we develop the force, we can do better at providing Airmen and Guardians with learning opportunities that support the right operational concepts, capabilities, and plans to bolster deterrence and maintain our competitive advantage.”
A critical attribute of the 2030 learning environment is rooted in the Air Force’s success in fielding a single, integrated, cloud-based learning experience through partnerships, which is another key line of effort for AETC. Integrating learning systems and data across the force will allow every Airman to take advantage of analytic tools to find the best learning content and build the best developmental paths for themselves and their subordinates.
“The partnerships between AETC and other MAJCOMs are vital to building the Air Force’s first digital learning environment,” Coats said. “Our assessment paints a clear picture—integrating AETC and MAJCOM systems, policies, and processes are critical to close the gap in competency development between one-size-fits-all type of training and efficient, individually-focused learning plans.”
Other key findings in the report noted the need to recruit future Airmen and Guardians with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) backgrounds, as well as the need to ensure training and education is aligned with foundational and occupational competencies. These findings helped inform AETC’s newly outlined operational approach that includes lines of effort that focus on modernizing Total Force recruiting and accessions, and the rapid codification of competencies that will help enable Airmen to be ready for any challenge in the strategic competition environment.
The Arnold Group has started the process to create the second iteration of the FDEA and is looking for personnel to assist with the effort. If you have a strong desire to contribute to the process, please contact the Arnold Group at AETC Futures AETC.Futures@us.af.mil.