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Supervisor 101: bridging the gap

28th Maintenance Squadron Airmen participate in a chief’s panel during a Supervisor 101 course at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Dec. 7, 2020. Supervisor 101 is a four-day course designed to bridge the gap between the broad scope of leadership taught in Airman Leadership School (ALS) and the narrow scope of supervisory skills necessary to guide maintenance Airmen. (Courtesy photo)

28th Maintenance Squadron Airmen participate in a chief’s panel during a Supervisor 101 course at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Dec. 7, 2020. Supervisor 101 is a four-day course designed to bridge the gap between the broad scope of leadership taught in Airman Leadership School (ALS) and the narrow scope of supervisory skills necessary to guide maintenance Airmen. (Courtesy photo)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The 28th Maintenance Squadron has created an advanced approach to develop the leadership skills of recent Airmen Leadership School (ALS) graduates and first-time supervisors.

Supervisor 101 is a four-day course designed to bridge the gap between the broad scope of leadership taught in ALS and the narrow scope of supervisory skills necessary to guide maintenance Airmen.

“Oftentimes, the challenging maintenance schedule does not leave ample opportunity to focus on developing future supervisors,” said Tech. Sgt. MaShawn Pech, a 28th MXS noncommissioned officer (NCO) in charge of commander support staff. “This course designates time for Senior NCOs to provide mentorship to new NCOs, while exposing them to the skills they will need to effectively lead and supervise within our squadron.”

Supervisor 101 strengthens the relationships between front-line supervisors and Senior NCOs, while simultaneously, strengthening relationships between new NCOs and their subordinates.

“We teamed up with Airmen & Family Readiness Center (AFRC) to incorporate a ‘True Colors’ class and an ‘Unconscious Bias’ class, where students were taught about different personalities and biases,” shared Tech. Sgt. Quintin Morran, a 28th MXS aircraft inspection section chief. “This enables new supervisors to recognize and utilize the strengths and abilities of their Airmen and teammates.”

Additionally, the course offers lessons in progressive discipline, completing Air Force specific documents, personnel programs, grading awards packages and providing feedback, added Pech, who helps lead the course. There is also a lesson dedicated to unit familiarization where Airmen learn about maintenance shops across the installation, along with what role they play within the mission.

“Upon completing each block of instruction, students are provided the opportunity to complete a survey on what they learned,” noted Pech. “The data is then used to determine how the curriculum can be adjusted to ensure students are receiving the training and mentorship they desire.”

Because of Supervisor 101 new MXS NCOs are more confident and aptly prepared to go back into the maintenance field and spread the knowledge, feedback and skills they learned.

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