176th Wing Student Flight program highlighted in National Guard Bureau video project

JBER, Alaska -- Airman 1st Class Ray Rush, a crew chief from the 176th Maintenaince Group, gives an interiew here July 16 to Air Guard videographer Tech. Sgt. James Michaels. The 176th Wing's student flight program was filmed for a National Guard Bureau project to enhance recruiting, career development and diversity. Rush recently moved on from the wing's student flight.

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARSON, Alaska -- Airman 1st Class Ray Rush, a crew chief from the 176th Maintenance Group, gives an interiew here July 16 to Air Guard videographer Tech. Sgt. James Michaels. The 176th Wing's student flight program was filmed for a National Guard Bureau project to enhance recruiting, career development and diversity. Rush recently moved on from the wing's student flight. Alaska Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. N. Alicia Goldberger.

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska -- An Air National Guard Training and Education Center videographer visited the 176th Wing July 16 to help showcase the wing's Student Flight as a model component of the Air National Guard's  (ANG) diversity program changes.

Sponsored by National Guard Bureau's Diversity Operations, the program aims to create a legacy free of barriers so all members can be successful, as outlined in the National Guard Bureau policy on diversity. The undertaking includes three videos -- highlighting diversity, force management, and force development, respectively -- capturing real-world examples of improvements in these fields. The diversity video shows how the ANG bases recruit and engage the community. The force management video is about helping new members successfully transition from swearing in to working in their first shop. The video on force development focuses on setting members up for further success in their careers.

Each video is a piece of the pie, according to the videographer, Tech. Sgt. James Michaels.

The 176th Wing was selected as a subject for the force management piece due to its effective student flight program and demographics initiatives. One of the three volunteer leaders of the student flight, Senior Master Sgt. William Yockell, got involved with the diversity project and promoted the wing as a model for the video series while on a temporary tour at National Guard Bureau Diversity Operations.

"We have a strong program that's been very effective for the wing and we want to share that across the guard," Yockell said.

The videos demonstrate how ANG members can enhance the guard culture by building effective processes at the beginning of a member's career. Another student flight leader, Senior Master Sgt. Vicky Lambert, expressed the importance of these processes to new-comers.

"Anything we can do to invest in your future is to our advantage," Lambert said to them.

In an effort to invest in the wing's future, its student flight program changed the way the unit processed people. Security clearance submission times have been cut in half and the number of students pending class dates has been reduced from 50 percent to 5 percent, according to Yockell.

The success of the student flight is due to its volunteers and a willingness to change the way business is done, Lambert said.

"We're always looking for volunteers to help student flight who are passionate about building the future of this wing," she explained.

Just as positive changes have benefited the wing, National Guard Bureau is backing the video project to inspire positive change across the guard.
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