Flight commanders: Leading the charge

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Approximately 16 company grade officers assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing, 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing (AMOW) and their geographically separated units attended the 521st AMOW flight commander’s course on Ramstein Air Base, Germany Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2018.

The course focused on training officers in flight commander positions to fill the liaison role between Airmen on the ground and the squadron commander.

“I think the biggest thing, especially as a flight commander, is listening to your airmen, figuring out where the issues are and how you can be that translator between your squadron commander and your airmen, and figuring out what they need to employ that in the best way possible,” said U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Sara Loveless, 721st Aerial Port Squadron air terminal operations center duty officer.

For newer officers like Loveless, this training helped build a network of fellow officers she can reach out to when She needs additional guidance. For more experienced officers like U.S. Air Force Capt. Christian Lora, 424th Air Base Squadron airfield operations flight commander, said he learned something he’d never considered about peer supervising other officers.

“This is the first time I’ve been in this course. It’s been awesome. One of the key take aways is that (the course) is very broad. It touches on a lot of different things, not just supervising enlisted members,” said Lora.
The course brought in briefers who’ve held multiple flight commander roles to share their experiences on how they successfully lead their airmen.
“It has been an awesome opportunity to hear from other officers that range from brand new 2nd lieutenants to mid-level captains from multiple different career fields,” said Loveless.

The course also demonstrated how to lead through recent changes in the enlisted force structure, and how flight commanders should use first line enlisted members to better accomplish the mission.

“It’s been an awesome opportunity to soak up the wisdom of those who have had a lot more experience,” said Loveless.

“This program has been able to give me the tools to do my job. I’m now able to rate my airmen the way the Air Force wants me to,” said Lora. “They are giving me the right tools to do it well and I’m giving everyone an opportunity”