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AFCEA International Chapter News
ALAMO CHAPTER CHAPTER - Apr 15, 2014
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Speaker Turns to RT&E Challenges

The challenge of recruiting, training and educating U.S. airmen has grown no simpler with 21st century technology, the chapter learned in April. In fact, as training and education increasingly moves away from familiar brick-and-mortar models to a learning portal environment, the mission has become more complex. Dr. David Blanton, the chief technology officer for the Air Education and Training Command’s (AETC’s) Communications Directorate, addressed some of those challenges at the chapter’s April luncheon. “We’re changing the way we think about IT within AETC,” he said. “We’re thinking about the ways students learn and, in lean times, how to change the student-to-cost curve.” The command is already fast tracking a comprehensive reimagining of its information technology infrastructure library and moving to a service model designed to streamline its train and educate information technology systems. The ultimate goal, Blanton said, is to deliver training and education to airmen anywhere in the world and anywhere in their career. If the command can ensure that delivery, it promotes tremendous reductions in temporary duty budgets. But technical designers must still account for the different ways that students learn—visually, kinesthetically, by listening, and through social dynamics and projects. Not to mention a great many AETC programs have what Balnton called an enduring mission outside the Air Force Network, or AFNET, and the scale of the challenge becomes clear. To illustrate his point, Blanton described a day in the life of an Air Force recruiter—someone who spends most of his time on school campuses, in a storefront recruiting office or at the homes of basic training candidates, rather than on a base. How can someone using a flip phone send text messages to a recruit who does not communicate any other way? Or print out applications or other forms on the spot to be signed at the candidate’s house? Industry partners can help the command in several ways, Blanton said. In the Joint Information Environment, that can mean leveraging industry solutions to build authentication systems that do not require Common Access Cards (CACs), and cloud computing. Cellular and wireless device technology is particularly needed. People do not want quarter-inch drills. They want quarter-inch holes, he said.

Event Photographs:

Dr. David Blanton, chief technology officer for the Air Education and Training Command’s Communications Directorate, illustrates a point about quality, quantity and funding for the education and training of airmen at the chapter's April luncheon.
Dr. David Blanton, chief technology officer for the Air Education and Training Command’s Communications Directorate, illustrates a point about quality, quantity and funding for the education and training of airmen at the chapter's April luncheon.
Dr. Blanton (r) accepts a token from David Kovach, chapter executive vice president, following his keynote in April.
Dr. Blanton (r) accepts a token from David Kovach, chapter executive vice president, following his keynote in April.

For more details regarding this event contact:
Marla Dial
512.296.7352

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