International NCO seminar kicks off with U.S. Air National Guard
By Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith , I.G. Brown Training and Education Center
/ Published September 19, 2016
MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. --
Noncommissioned officers from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland kicked off the International Noncommissioned Officer Enlisted Leadership Development Seminar here Sept. 19 at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.
Col. Kevin Donovan, the TEC commander, welcomed the service members during the opening event for five day's briefings, discussions and local tours, sponsored by the International Air Reserve Symposium.
"We are so excited to have you here," said Donovan to the 39 NCOs participating.
Donovan said that the Air National Guard's premier location for noncommissioned officers - also the U.S. Air Force's largest enlisted professional military education campus - is the right place for the seminar.
"We are very proud of the history of what we do here, and I think it's very fitting that we are selected to host INLEAD," said Donovan. "We are glad to have you here."
Service members include six from Canada, five from Germany, nine from the Netherlands, three from Switzerland, five from the U.K. and 11 from the U.S.
Chief Master Sgt. Edward Walden Sr., the TEC's senior enlisted leader and commandant of the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center, said that his organization is ready for the week ahead.
"We are looking forward to bringing these senior NCOs together with their experiences to learn and develop from each other," said Walden in his opening remarks.
Walden, who attended last year's INLEAD held in Canada, said that they built on previous seminars in order to develop and deliver a quality educational experience.
"It was one year in the planning, and the whole staff is ready to go," said Walden.
Walden gave a presentation on the Air National Guard and his reflections on it as a whole. INLEAD scheduled the NCOs - all from NATO member nations - for similar briefings on their reserve forces.
This year's INLEAD includes cultural opportunities in the Smoky Mountain Region outside of the classroom time on counterpart approaches and challenges in leadership.
The closing event ends INLEAD with a combat dining-in - an informal and customary gathering in combat dress, with rules that promote camaraderie through entertaining and fun traditions.