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NCO Academy students see the finish line

NCO academy award nominees

United States Air Force NCO Academy Class 19-6 nominees for the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center's commandant award take a group photo with Chief Master Sgt. Steven Durrance, commandant, outside his office, June 21, 2019, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, in East Tennessee. The selected Airman is announced at the graduation ceremony, scheduled for next Tuesday morning, June 25. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. --

United States Air Force Noncommissioned Officer Academy students in Class 19-6 were checking off the remaining blocks in their final days before graduation next Tuesday.

Nominees for the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center's commandant award took a group photo with Chief Master Sgt. Steven Durrance, commandant, outside his office, today, June 21.

The selected Airman is announced at graduation, which will broadcast online, live on Facebook, shortly before 9 a.m. EDT. Other awards go to distinguished graduates, as well as to the highest academic achievement and the John L. Levitow award - the highest EPME honor in the Air Force.

The course is a requirement for the rank of Master Sergeant. The students built leadership skills needed in mid-career status as noncommissioned officers. They also volunteered hundreds of off-duty hours in the Knoxville region's community.

The enlisted professional military education class has 14 flights, consisting of regular Air Force, National Guard, and Reserve Command Airmen.

TEC began teaching NCO academy in 1968, and it is the Air Force’s largest and longest continually running schoolhouse for the EPME program.