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EPME Center closed fiscal year with graduations, accomplishments

NCOA 18-6

Technical Sergeant Donnie Novotny, from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachement 5, Robbins Air Force Base, Ga., receives the John L. Levitow Award for NCO Academy class 18-6 from Col. Kerry Lovely, Commander of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, Chief Master Sgt. Darin Mauzy, Command Chief of the 158th Fighter Wing, and Senior Master Sgt. Ramey Stokes, interim Commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center, here, Sept.26, 2018, at the TEC in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jerry D. Harlan)

EPME briefing

Senior Airmen Weston Fazzino and John Areche, both from the 104th Security Forces Squadron, listen to a welcome briefing during day-one activities of Airman leadership school class 18-2 here, Oct. 18, 2017, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in Lousiville, Tenn. The TEC had multiple classes starting this week, including 161 students in ALS, 103 students in NCO academy class 18-1, 26 students in blended learning course ALS 18-1, and 17 students in the instructor certification program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jerry D. Harlan)

Community service

Enlisted professional military education students assigned to the Air National Guard training and education center for U.S. Air Force noncommissioned officer academy and Airman leadership school volunteer in the greater Knoxville, Tennessee, region.(U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo)

Community service

Enlisted professional military education students assigned to the Air National Guard training and education center for U.S. Air Force noncommissioned officer academy and Airman leadership school volunteer in the greater Knoxville, Tennessee, region. (U.S. Air National Guard courtesy photo)

Airman Leadership School outside

Senior Airmen in the Airman Leadership School Blended Learning Class 18-1 were having fun outdoors, Dec. 1, 2017, during their two weeks of hands-on learning in East Tennessee. Marching a flight may not have been easy, but there was plenty of camaraderie and encouragement. The Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center is where Air National Guard Airmen go for the combined distance learning and resident course. The class graduates before the holiday. (U.S. Air Force photos/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Airman Leadership School outside

Senior Airmen in the Airman Leadership School Blended Learning Class 18-1 were having fun outdoors, Dec. 1, 2017, during their two weeks of hands-on learning in East Tennessee. Marching a flight may not have been easy, but there was plenty of camaraderie and encouragement. The Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center is where Air National Guard Airmen go for the combined distance learning and resident course. The class graduates before the holiday. (U.S. Air Force photos/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Retired Capt. William A. Robinson

Ex-POW retired Air Force Capt. William A. Robinson speaks with Airman leadership school students and staff at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center Nov. 6, 2017, in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Winter storm

Airman leadership school students attend the retreat ceremony on a snowy afternoon, Jan. 16, 2018, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee. The campus on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base received 1 to 2 inches of snow overnight. TEC's Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center is the U.S. Air Force’s largest such center, where thousands attend Noncommissioned Officer Academy and ALS annually. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Winter retreat ceremony

Airman leadership school students attend the retreat ceremony on a snowy afternoon, Jan. 16, 2018, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee. The campus on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base received 1 to 2 inches of snow overnight. TEC's Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center is the U.S. Air Force’s largest such center, where thousands attend Noncommissioned Officer Academy and ALS annually. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Winter retreat ceremony
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Bulgarian Air Force Airman 1st Class Rumen Kamenov stands in formation with his U.S. Air Force Airman Leadership School classmates during the retreat ceremony on a snowy afternoon, Jan. 16, 2018, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee. The campus on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base received snow into the night. TEC's Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center is the U.S. Air Force’s largest such center, where thousands attend Noncommissioned Officer Academy and ALS annually, including service members from partnership nations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

ALS
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Airman leadership school class 18-8, E-flight at the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center, June 6, 2018, on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Levitow awardee
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Senior Airman Michale Dichiaro, from the 3rd Intelligence Squadron, receives the John L. Levitow Award for Airman leadership school class 18-6 from Col. Kerry Lovely, Commander of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, and Chief Master Sgt. Winfield Hinkley, Comandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center, here, May 10, 2018 at the TEC in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jerry D. Harlan)

ALS formation
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United States Air Force Airman leadership school students stand at attention during morning reveille at the Air National Guard’s training and education center, June 12, 2018, on McGhee Tyson Air Guard Base in East Tennessee. ALS is a five-week course that prepares Senior Airmen for positions of greater responsibility by providing leadership skills required of supervisors and reporting officials. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

ALS formation
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United States Air Force Airman leadership school students stand at attention during morning reveille at the Air National Guard’s training and education center, June 12, 2018, on McGhee Tyson Air Guard Base in East Tennessee. ALS is a five-week course that prepares Senior Airmen for positions of greater responsibility by providing leadership skills required of supervisors and reporting officials. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

ALS 18-8 commandant award nominees
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Chief Master Sgt. Winfield S. Hinkley, the commandant of the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center (center), joins commandant award nominees in Airman leadership school Class 18-8, June 21, 2018, outside Patriot Hall at the Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee. The award recipient is announced at graduation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

ALS BLC 18-7
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Senior Airman Deonarine Sumeersarnauth, from the 103rd Airlift Wing, receives the Academic Achievement Award for Airman leadership school Blended Learning Course class 18-7 from Chief Master Sgt. Ed Walden, the Command Chief Master Sgt of the 136th Airlift Wing, Senior Master Sgt. Ramey Stokes, Director of Education, and Chief Master Sgt. Winfield Hinkley, Commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center, here, June 15, 2018 at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jerry D. Harlan)

flag ceremony
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U.S. Air Force Airmen enrolled in Airman leadership school raise the flag July 24, 2018, at the Air National Guard's Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center on McGhee Tyson Air Guard Base in East Tennessee. Their super-sized class includes more than 250 Airmen from units across the nation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

NCOA 18-6
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Airmen in E-Flight, take the honor flight award here, Sept. 26, 2018, for Noncommissioned officer academy class 18-6, during the graduation banquet at the Chief Master Sgt. Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jerry D. Harlan)

ALS class 18-10 flight photo
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Airman leadership school class 18-10, A-flight at the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center, September 12, 2018, on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Jerry D. Harlan)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. --

Faculty and staff at the U.S. Air Force’s EPME center in East Tennessee said that the graduations of three EPME classes last month closed out a fiscal year of significant accomplishments.

 

Classes NCO Academy 18-6, Airman Leadership School 18-10, and ALS Blended Learning Course 18-11, all graduated EPME on the last week of September. In total, the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford EPME Center graduated 1,894 students over the previous 12 months.

 

“Considering that we turned over about 50 percent of our entire staff during that time, including key leadership assignments, it’s a great accomplishment,” Senior Master Sgt. Ramey Stokes, the director of education who is additionally serving as interim commandant, said.

 

Sergeant Stokes, a former EPME instructor from 2008 to 2010, was among the new faculty who arrived or returned to the campus on assignment. The EPME Center has about 45 instructors and staff as part the Air National Guard’s more considerable training and education campus -- the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.

 

TEC recently announced Chief Master Sgt. Steven Durrance as the 16th commandant, following the reassignment of Chief Master Sgt. Winfield Hinkley in August.

 

“We are looking forward to the year ahead and the arrival of Chief Durrance as our Commandant, with his leadership and vision,” Sergeant Stokes said. “Right now, I’m proud to guide us until his arrival, and it never fails to surprise me how well TEC joins together as a team, even though the turnover.”

 

Master Sgt. Juan P. Castro, who arrived this year as EPME director of operations, said that Lankford EPME Center students were equally successful in the community.

 

“We closed the year with more than 4,000 hours in student community volunteerism,” Castro said. “Not only that, students donated 571 units of blood to the regional blood center,” Sergeant Castro said.

 

Breaking it down, NCO academy students provided 2,771 total community service hours, and ALS provided 1,312 community service hours in the greater Knoxville, Tennessee, area. “I’m just so amazed in how much our students can give outside the gates, in addition to their rigorous studies,” Sergeant Castro said.

 

Another success included exchanging instructors across the Air Force’s EPME centers to share best practices and improve relationships, Sergeant Castro said. Six guest instructors were on campus this year and one Lankford EPME Center instructor taught NCO academy at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska.

 

"We got great feedback on that, and I think the results were phenomenal," Sergeant Castro said, adding that they hoped to pursue more exchange opportunities.

 

Sergeant Castro also added that the coming year would see an increase in student throughput in NCO academy classes as a means to provide Airmen more opportunities to attend in-resident EPME.