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AFSO 21, FTAC and professional enhancement

ELLSWORTH AFB, S.D. -- The First Term Airman's Center and the Professional Enhancement Center here are using Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century to shake up their methods so Airmen can get back to their shops at a faster rate so their role in supporting the global war on terror is expedited. 

FTAC was previously a 10-day program and now has been cut back to five, explained Tech. Sgt. Chris Morgan, NCO in charge. 

The 18-year Air Force veteran and Master Sergeant select said he has mixed feelings about the changes. 

"I know I learned things in the first class I sat through that I didn't even know," he said. "But, on the other side of that coin, I also understand why it was done. 

"By streamlining this process we are getting the warfighters trained and on the job faster," said Sergeant Morgan. 

All courses and briefings mandated by Air Force instructions will remain part of the curriculum at FTAC. 

These subjects include military equal opportunity, antiterrorism and financial management, Sergeant Morgan said. 

"Briefings that went away were not mandated by AFI, such as the active airman council, new neighbors program and the Big Brothers/Big Sister program, just to name a few," he added. 

Ellsworth's command chief, Chief Master Sgt. John Gillette, said it's important to allow AFSO-21 to relieve some of the demands made on Airmen. 

"Sergeant Morgan did a great job reducing the FTAC schedule to five days without eliminating the quality of service," the chief said. "This equates to 40 man-hours that are now put back in the work centers." 

Chief Gillette acknowledged while the optional programs eliminated were nice to have; it is now up to leadership to ensure Ellsworth Airmen have the tools for success. 

"Supervisors must take the lead and ensure their Airmen know about the services and programs that are offered in the local community and on the base," said Chief Gillette. 

The change to the length of the FTAC program is effective today. 

Tech. Sgt. Marc Schlecht, NCOIC in charge of the Ellsworth Professional Enhancement Center, explained some of the AFSO-21 changes at the enhancement center. 

The NCO classes are now once a month, he said. 

"There's an Airman class once a quarter and a SNCO class twice a year," explained Sergeant Schlecht. 

In addition, there's a possibility of a Lieutenant class occurring once or twice a year, he said. 

"The Professional Enhancement Center has moved to the Rushmore Center and is sharing classrooms with the various colleges that hold classes there," Sergeant Schlecht said. 

For more information, FTAC can be reached at 385-6115 and the Professional Enhancement Center at 385-2777.