Mass. Air Guardsman briefs USAFE personnel staff on vPC program
By Tech. Sgt. Melanie J. Casineau, 104th Fighter Wing, Public Affairs
/ Published May 08, 2015
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- A Massachusetts Air National Guard member briefed the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Air personnel staff (A1) at Ramstein on the Virtual Personnel Center (vPC) computer program, May 7 here.
Senior Master Sgt. Nicholas Kollett, State Enlisted Force Development Manager, Joint Force Headquarters, Massachusetts Air National Guard, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, deployed to Ramstein to train with the 786th Military Personnel Flight and learning they would be transitioning to the vPC later this year, offered to introduce them to the system.
Members from the 786th were very pleased with their introduction to the vPC system from Kollett and told the members from USAFE/A1 about their experience. The USAFE/A1 staff realized the importance of this training and quickly asked Kollett to do the same training for them at the USAFE headquarters building.
"It was nice to help them out, and to be part of one big team," Kollett said.
Kollett has years of experience using vPC during his time as a first sergeant for 260 Airmen from 2010 to 2014. He continues to use the program both personally and helping Airmen assigned to him in his current position at JFHQ.
The vPC, previously called vPC-GR, was only accessible to the Guard and Reserve and is now being offered to active duty. It's nice to see that all three Air Force components are using the same system, Kollett said.
Active-duty Airmen here at Ramstein had never seen the program and only heard of this upcoming transition through email and Defense Connect Online. The system will not be available for them to access until June, Kollett said.
As a current guardsman, Kollett has access to vPC and was able to login and show them what the platform actually looked like, using his experience to provide overview training.
"The members were very receptive and very thankful that they were able to see the program because they have only been told about it," Kollett said. "They wanted to be able to see how to initiate an award, track an evaluation, and generate reports."
The vPC allows online access for the entire Air Force regardless of rank or position to create awards and decorations, retirement and separation applications, and other basic personnel requests, to include performance reports. The system allows Airmen to track where each item is being routed and allows commanders to pull reports and know the status. It is a more streamlined platform for the Air Force that is quick, efficient, and accessible 24 hours a day.
Active duty is currently using the Evaluation Management System (EMS) that is being phased out, requiring them to transition to vPC by September of this year. EMS was a program only available to active duty; the guard and reserve previously used a paper process until vPC-GR was created in 2006.
"I used EMS when I was deployed as a first sergeant, I think that vPC is better," Kollett said. "It is a great opportunity for them to be able to use an existing program that we already have."
We're very interested in vPC and learning how we can prepare the base with transitioning to a guard and reserve system, said Maj. December Garcia, 786th Military Personnel Flight commander.
"We're grateful the guard showed us how it works," Garcia concluded.