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AETC deputy commander visits 314th, 189th Airlift Wing

Military Training Leader provides dormitory overview to general.

Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, speaks with Master Sgt. April Bonugli, 714th Training Squadron military training leader, about the challenges the students at the dormitories face on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 23, 2021. Dorms for training programs are foundational to developing Airmen. Constant trainee throughput and challenging environmental conditions increase wear and tear and require proper budgeting and sustainment to continue to produce the Airmen we need for America’s defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

General talks with military training leaders.

Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, meets with military training leaders at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 23, 2021. Instructors are the underpinning of Airmen development. Developing the Airmen we need who possess the Air Force core values starts with the instructor corps and investing in these force generators is investing in the Air Force future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

General tours dormitory with military training leaders.

Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, tours a dormitory with military training leaders at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 23, 2021. Dorms for training programs are foundational to developing Airmen. Constant trainee throughput and challenging environmental conditions increase wear and tear and require proper budgeting and sustainment to continue to produce the Airmen we need for America’s defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

Airman receives overview of fuselage trainer.

Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, gets a rundown of the many facets of the fuselage trainer (FUT) from Master Sgt. Jarrod Harris, 714th Training Squadron leader, at the FUT building on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 23, 2021. During the tour, Spangenthal experienced firsthand some of the training first-term students go through to become qualified on the C-130J Super Hercules. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

Airmen tour a fuselage trainer.

Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, tours the fuselage trainer at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 23, 2021. During the tour, Spangenthal experienced firsthand some of the training first-term students go through to become qualified on the C-130J Super Hercules. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

Airman receives overview of fuselage trainer.

Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, gets a rundown of the fuselage trainer (FUT) from Mr. Stephen Bryant, 714th Training Squadron instructor, at the FUT building on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 23, 2021. During the tour, Spangenthal experienced firsthand some of the training first-term students go through to become qualified on the C-130J Super Hercules. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin)

A C-130J Super Hercules rests on the flight line

A C-130J Super Hercules rests on the flight line before being flown by Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command commander, and Maj. Joseph Becker, 62nd Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 24, 2021. The aircraft was one of the 314th Airlift Wing’s heritage painted aircraft, decorated with D-Day stripes like those painted on C-47 Skytrains in World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaiah Miller)

Airmen make their way to a C-130J Super Hercules.

Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, and Maj. Joseph Becker, 62nd Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules pilot, make their way to a C-130J before a flight at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 24, 2021. The flight marked Spangenthal’s first time flying a C-130J. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaiah Miller)

Airmen conduct pre-flight checks on a C-130J Super Hercules.

Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, studies the cockpit and controls of a C-130 J Super Hercules before a flight at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 24, 2021. Spangenthal flew with members from the 62nd Airlift Squadron while visiting the 314th Airlift Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaiah Miller)

A pilot conducts pre-flight checks on a C-130J Super Hercules.
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Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, conducts pre-flight operations on a C-130J Super Hercules at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 24, 2021. Spangenthal flew one of the 314th Airlift Wing’s heritage painted aircraft, decorated with D-Day stripes like those painted on C-47 Skytrains in World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaiah Miller)

Airmen fly a C-130J Super Hercules
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Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, and Maj. Joseph Becker, 62nd Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules pilot, fly a C-130J at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 24, 2021. The flight marked Spangenthal’s first time flying a C-130J. (Courtesy photo by Lt. Col. Graeme Dewstow)

An Airman flies a C-130J Super Hercules.
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Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, flies a C-130J Super Hercules for the first time at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 24, 2021. Spangenthal flew with members from the 62nd Airlift Squadron while visiting the 314th Airlift Wing. (Courtesy photo by Lt. Col. Graeme Dewstow)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Air Education and Training Command deputy commander, Maj. Gen. William Spangenthal, visited the 314th Airlift Wing and the Air National Guard’s 189th AW during his multi-day trip to Little Rock Air Force Base, March 23-25. 

Spangenthal witnessed firsthand the installation’s robust Total Force Integration (TFI), which combines two active-duty wings from separate major commands as well as the ANG. Spangenthal described the collaboration and support amongst the units at LRAFB as “truly superb.”

“My overall takeaway from visiting Little Rock and the Home of Herk Nation was how well the team is performing together,” he said. “The TFI teamwork here is a fantastic model for the rest of the Air Force to see because of how well it’s being executed. I am really proud of the work that our Airmen are doing here.”

During his visit with the 314th AW, Spangenthal took a closer look at the implementation of Formal Training Unit Next concepts into the wing’s C-130 schoolhouse procedures. As part of AETC’s overhaul of the legacy training pipeline, the deputy commander was briefed on the current C-130J Block 8.1 conversion – accelerating change and development of fully-qualified aviators for operational units. 

These changes are being made to deliver better-trained aircrew members to the Joint Force and international partners.

Spangenthal also met and flew with the 62nd Airlift Squadron to gain further insight into the squadron’s new practices to enhance the training operations for the next generation of C-130 pilots.

In addition to modernizing flying training, the 314th AW demonstrated the unique means to blend training solutions for maintenance Airmen via virtual reality, which the installation is using.

Following his visit with the 314th AW, Spangenthal met with the 189th AW to learn more about their mission and tour the 223rd Cyberspace Operations Squadron, which is responsible for training cyber defenders assigned to mission defense teams across the Air Force.

“My hats off to both the 314th and 189th leaders because they’re allowing our Airmen to do what they do best – execute the mission and find ways to improve it,” Spangenthal said. “I appreciate the fact that they are not only accomplishing the mission, but prioritizing taking care of our Airmen and their families; when you get that right unbelievable things can happen.” 

The 314th Airlift Wing is the nation's tactical airlift "Center of Excellence" and trains C-130 aircrew members from the Department of Defense, Coast Guard, and 47 partner nations. The mission of the 189th Airlift Wing is to crate mission-ready citizen Airmen and provide premier training to the C-130 and cyber enterprises.

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