365 TRS 'inspires' with Barnes Hall makeover

The 365th Training Squadron has added new pictures in their detachment to increase morale among the students that call it home March 6,2013. Each picture is meant to represent a certain objective or goal of an airman in training's tech school. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jelani Gibson)

Photos on the wall were part of the makeover of the 365th Training Squadron's dorm at Bldg 602/Barnes Hall. The unit added new pictures to help inspire Airmen-in-Training and each picture is meant to represent a certain objective or goal of an AiT. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jelani Gibson)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Building 602 goes by many names: 365 dormitory, Barnes Hall, and for the more than 500 Airmen-in-Training that live there, home. Had you visited this building no more than six months ago, you would have found a place that concentrated more on the mission than appearances.

In an attempt to uphold our wing mission to "Train and Inspire Airmen," the 365th TRS decided to make our dorm more functional and enjoyable for those that live there. The MTLs, instructors and students came together in a combined effort and began many projects to reach that goal.

One focus was highlighting our Air Force heritage to help inspire the airmen, by giving them a glimpse of the Air Force's history and the history of the aircraft they will work on.

Through multiple donations and fundraisers within the squadron, including a push-up competition between the commander, first sergeant, and assistant flight chief, enough funds were raised to begin the project.

A timeline was constructed in the dorm stairwell utilizing wall decals. The concept is that as the staircase rises, the historical symbols and aircraft also rise in conjunction with the year they were inducted into the Air Force.

A plaque recognizing those who made each possible, as well as a glimpse of what makes that aircraft or symbol important, accompanies each section.

"I was pleased to see the blending of a MTF initiative with input and support of the instructors," said Lt. Col. Anthony Antoline, 365th TRS commander. "This was a cool way to build squadron camaraderie."

Other improvements included the refurbishment of the dorm entrance, Charge of Quarters area, redecorated trophy case and lobby and completed with a reminder of the core values designed and painted by students. Each wall on all four floors was also painted.

Revamping each dayroom included putting in new furniture, along with the fighter's avionics schoolhouse donation of an air hockey table to the dorm.

The most recent project was the in-processing/briefing room. Repainting, adding new desks and chairs donated to the squadron, along with curtains and some repurposed art items, made it a brighter and more professional space.

It also nearly doubled the capacity of the "IP" room, which is utilized as a mass briefing room for the week-long process of bringing new Airmen-in-Training into the 365 family and ensuring they are prepared for the challenges they will face during the avionics course. More than 300 Airmen come through this room monthly, not including the many assignment, graduation, and project briefings that take place there.

Continuing improvements will be made to help bring the squadron closer together and improve the look and functionality of the building. The main goal will not change as the Airmen continue to strive for success in their training to be maintainers and the MTLs handle the mission of training and mentoring airman. Make no mistake, this is still a squadron that puts the mission first; they now look even better doing it.