86th AW prepares new flight commanders
By Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 20, 2018
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The 86th Airlift Wing hosted a flight commander’s course at the Officers Club to prepare leaders for their new positions, Nov. 15 - 16.
It is common for units to thrust the responsibility of commanding flights onto company grade officers the moment they arrive on station. The course eases the transition by giving flight commanders the tools necessary to become effective leaders. They go over bullet writing, effective program management, performance management, and other key responsibilities.
“It’s important to know and practice these skills because we need to know how to lead people,” said Capt. Lori Wilhelm, Flight Commander’s Course facilitator. “We go to technical school and then we’re immediately put into the flight commander position.”
Young officers attended the flight commander’s course to focus on critical leadership knowledge and leadership philosophy. These tools allow flight commanders to better lead their Airmen.
“[The course] has been absolutely beneficial for me,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Alexander Williams, 603rd Air Operations Center Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Division. “At the very beginning we talked about leadership styles. I think that being self-aware is crucial to know how to best lead the people around you.”
One of the lessons in the course named “difficult conversations,” covered how to handle situations in the workplace when dealing with personal issues.
“Maybe there’s racism or sexism within your unit; how do you handle that?” added Wilhelm. “We’re getting that practice here so we can be prepared when it counts.”
For the second ever flight commander’s course on Ramstein, Wilhelm said it filled up fast with 58 CGOs and civilian employees, covering several units across the base.
“I was able to open it up to as many people I could accommodate,” said Wilhelm.
Because of its popularity and effectiveness, Wilhelm said she hopes to host the course semi-annually in the near future.