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Process underway to modernize power production CDCs

Lorenzo Burleson, A4C Strategic Communications, films Senior Airman Austin Davenport, 316th Civil Engineering Squadron electrical power production specialist, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March 24, 2021. The electrical power production career field is modernizing their career development courses, moving from paper study guides to interactive photos, videos and reviews online. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Lorenzo Burleson, A4C Strategic Communications, films Senior Airman Austin Davenport, 316th Civil Engineering Squadron electrical power production specialist, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March 24, 2021. The electrical power production career field is modernizing their career development courses, moving from paper study guides to interactive photos, videos and reviews online. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Matthew Reichman, IBM CTR Team CETM Co-Lead, films Senior Airman Logan Krell, 316th Civil Engineering Squadron electrical power production specialist, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March, 24, 2021. The electrical power production career field is modernizing their career development courses. Reichman and his team traveled to multiple bases to cover every facet of the power pro CDCs, which will be cut up into singular modules for easier viewing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

Matthew Reichman, IBM CTR Team CETM Co-Lead, films Senior Airman Logan Krell, 316th Civil Engineering Squadron electrical power production specialist, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March, 24, 2021. The electrical power production career field is modernizing their career development courses. Reichman and his team traveled to multiple bases to cover every facet of the power pro CDCs, which will be cut up into singular modules for easier viewing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Pedro Tenorio)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – The Air Force stays ahead by always seeking to improve, upgrade or innovate processes. Stagnation is the killer of excellence and members from the 366th Training Squadron’s electrical power production apprentice course are innovatively working to modernize training.

“We realized students in this day and age learn differently,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Bagley, electrical power production career development course writer. “Today we have contractors from IBM work with some of the advanced students to shoot photos and videography for the new career development program. These will eventually end up replacing the CDCs we currently have. Basically, we are modernizing our CDCs.”

Bagley said not only will it be photos and videos that will replace the paper-back CDCs, but also interactive 3D models, built-in reviews, knowledge and progress checks and more. All of this will also be able to be accessed by the student and their supervisor anytime and anywhere.

“If an Airman is sitting there waiting and they haven’t paralleled a generator or hooked up a load-bank in a while, they can log onto their cellphone or tablet and watch it and relearn it,” said Anthony Bergandino, electrical power production career development manager. “We’re always learning how to make people learn better, chunking it into small and digestible pieces is one thing we push. We are (upgrading training) with a little bit of technology and innovation and other things that the students can relate to.”

The plan will have all these modules cut up, separated and accessible on the program that eventually replaces ADLS.

This move away from paper-back CDCs was a natural evolution of the course due to the next generation of electrical power production Airmen. Bagley and Bergandino agreed this is just a better solution to get the Airmen of today more engaged and learning better.

Bergandino said they grew up with technology, tablets, and computers, but when they get here, they are given a paper-study guide. The new product makes more sense for today's Airmen.

The pros of upgrading this training are self-evident – a new way of training for a new generation of Airmen. It is also much more accessible, digestible and a game-changer for a visual and hands-on learner all together.

Bagley said the only con to this process was how time consuming it is as this project has started since December 2018.

“There’s a lot that goes into this and not a lot of it can happen quickly overnight,” he said. “But for change to occur, you have to take the time to focus on it and that’s what we’re doing here.”

With scheduling, storyboarding, traveling, budgeting and plus a global pandemic, the process has been moving slow, but steadily and their efforts have paid off. Bergandino estimated the new product should be implemented by August this year, if everything goes to plan.

The hard work and faith put into this project could invite other career fields to adapt their training programs as well as electrical power production is the first to implement this type of CDC change.

“No one has done this before,” Bergandino said. “This is kind of a big experiment to not just see the costs or time, but how is it going to be beneficial, what is our end student going to look like? We’ll have to capture the data and verify, like, ‘this is working or this is not performing well, let’s scrap it and try a different approach.’ But whether they want to do it Air Force-wide or squadron-specific, it’s something in the right direction.”

As the adage goes, any publicity is good publicity, and maybe that could be said about innovation, because as Bagley said, “It’s innovation either way you look at it.”