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2nd AF commander's vision focuses on Airmen, providing resources to complete mission

12/16/05 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Maj. Gen. Michael Gould's vision as the new 2nd Air Force commander is simple - produce the best expeditionary Airmen possible and give those who train them every resource available. 

His two-pronged vision focuses on the Airmen-in-training and permanent party members at all Air Education and Training Command bases. 

"What I want to do is ensure everyone in 2nd Air Force understands that those Airmen-in-training are the reason we are here," he said. "I also want to ensure we, as Headquarters 2nd Air Force, are doing what we can do to help instructors accomplish the mission of taking raw troops and turning them into expeditionary Airmen." 

It was by choice that Sheppard was General Gould's first base to visit as 2nd Air Force commander, he said. 

"Coming to Sheppard gives me a pretty broad view of specialties I've worked with over my career," he said. "This was a logical place to start." 

One of the things that caught the general's eye was the amount of enthusiasm instructors have shown when teaching and the enthusiasm Airmen have for learning. 

"The cadre is so fired up," he said. "I haven't met an instructor or commander that doesn't like their job. It's neat to see that kind of enthusiasm." 

As the top manager of all operational aspects of nearly 5,000 active training courses taught to approximately 250,000 Airmen annually in technical training, basic military training, medical and distance learning courses, General Gould said he is well aware of the increased deployment frequency. That is why a premium has to be placed on producing Airmen who have more than one specialty. 

He said Airmen are already asked to do more than what their primary Air Force Specialty Code requires. For example, he said communication Airmen are asked to work security details in the Middle East. 

General Gould said over the next several years, the Air Force could see a consolidation of AFSCs. 

"We will have Airmen with multiple skills," he said. "We will accomplish more with more rather than more with less." 

The general is no stranger to the training side of the house in the Air Force. He served as a graduate assistant football coach at the Air Force Academy before his flying days as well as an instructor pilot. He also performed standard evaluations as part of an Air Training Command team, including an inspection at the 80th Flying Training Wing during his tenure. 

With a Masters of Arts in Human Resource Development, it makes sense that the general's focus would be on people. He has seen products of Sheppard and AETC in the field, but now he gets a different view. 

"What I want to do on these base visits is understand the complexities of training and the challenges," he said. "I also want to provide support from 2nd Air Force to give my people resources to do this mission." 

General Gould began his visit Tuesday with a trip to the 982nd Training Group, Solid Rock Café and Sheppard's new permanent party dorms. His trip continued Wednesday with tours of 82nd TRG squadrons, the 82nd Medical Group's Health and Wellness Center, the 782nd TRG, the 82nd MDG and 82nd Mission Support Group. 

His final day at Sheppard was spent touring the 882nd Training Group and 80th Flying Training Wing.