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USAFE NCOA: Primed and ready for students to learn

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham, United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa deputy commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Smiley, Kisling Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, prepare to cut a ribbon for the NCOA’s reopening on Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Nov. 1, 2019. The NCOA underwent extensive renovations to update the building, restrooms, classrooms, and offices, allowing students and instructors to better focus on professional military education. (Courtesy Photo)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham, United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa deputy commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Smiley, Kisling Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, prepare to cut a ribbon for the NCOA’s reopening on Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Nov. 1, 2019. The NCOA underwent extensive renovations to update the building, restrooms, classrooms, and offices, allowing students and instructors to better focus on professional military education. (Courtesy Photo)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Smiley, Kisling Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, addresses attendees during a ribbon cutting event for the reopening of the NCOA on Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Nov. 1, 2019. Kisling NCOA was closed for six months to complete renovations in order to improve the educational environment for students and instructors. (Courtesy Photo)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Smiley, Kisling Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, addresses attendees during a ribbon cutting event for the reopening of the NCOA on Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Nov. 1, 2019. Kisling NCOA was closed for six months to complete renovations in order to improve the educational environment for students and instructors. (Courtesy Photo)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Students, instructors, and leaders attended United States Air Forces in Europe’s Kisling Noncommissioned Officer Academy ribbon cutting event on Kapaun Air Station Nov. 1, 2019.

The ribbon cutting marks the reopening of the schoolhouse after it was closed for six months for renovations to create a more efficient and effective educational environment for more than 1,000 students annually.

“Some of the highlights from the renovations are new restrooms, new carpeting, new windows, and updated smart boards and white boards in the flight rooms,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Smiley, Kisling NCOA commandant. “The flight room tables also have plug-ins for students to use for their devices, rather than running cords across the floor.”

Updates to the building and flight rooms were well overdue as the last renovations were done approximately 20 years ago. According to Smiley, the upgrades couldn’t have been completed without help and support from other agencies.

“Initially when we went into the renovations, it was not supposed to be what it became,” Smiley said. “Our success is due in large part to the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron and the 700 Contracting Squadron because they were key in setting up the contracts which totaled $2.2 million.”

Renovations to the Kisling NCOA were seen by senior leaders as necessary to provide top-tier professional military education to Airmen.

“When you’re training and you’re instructing world-class Airmen you have to do it in a world-class facility,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham, United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa deputy commander. “As you walk through this facility you immediately takeaway this is a conducive environment not only for learning, but for those who are instructing.”

With Airmen being the Air Force’s primary asset, the improvements to Kisling NCOA are seen as an investment in the future of the Air Force.

“The cost of $2.2 million is a relatively low amount of money for such a high pay-off,” Basham said. “Here in USAFE-AFAFRICA we are training Airmen who are going to go all over the world, and we owe it to our brothers- and sisters-in-arms that we do the best we can, and hopefully we set the standard for what others will continue to do.”