By Airman 1st Class Thomas Cox, 152nd Airlift Wing
/ Published July 30, 2021
Airmen from the Nevada National Guard pose after completing the Battle Born Professional Development Fly-Away at McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn., July 29, 2021. The Airmen represented various units from the 152nd Airlift Wing, 152nd Intelligence Squadron, 232nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, as well as leadership from the state headquarters. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman First Class Thomas Cox)
Airmen from across the Nevada Air National Guard participated in the fourth-annual Battle Born Professional Development Fly-Away at the I.G Brown Training and Education Center (TEC), McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn., July 26- 29, 2021.
“It’s a priority of mine to ensure the development of our future leaders,” said Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry, Nevada’s Adjutant General. “These are the Airmen who will continue to lead our organization forward and beyond.”
“The best kind of leader is one who invests greatly into their replacement,” said Master Sgt. Jesse Ball, TEC instructor. “Whether you realize it or not, your leadership is doing just that by bringing you all here.”
Ball, a Tennessee native, was one of the instructors that taught many classes such as the different types of leadership styles, coaching techniques, conflict resolution, public speaking and many more throughout the 3-day course.
These courses were designed to provide the Airmen with the skills to not only be effective and efficient leaders, but to also provide them with the skills necessary to encourage the development of their either current or future subordinates.
Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Brun, the Nevada Air National Guard State Command Chief, was also in attendance of the course throughout the week.
“We believe that we have given you all, [the Airmen], a really great course with very helpful material,” said Brun. “I challenge you all to go put it to use within your units.”
Staff Sgt. Sierra Arroyo, a Geospatial Analyst who has been with the 152nd Intelligence Squadron for over 8 years, decided to take the challenge to do just that.
“I’m really excited to implement all of the skills that the exceptional cadre here imparted on us this week,” said Arroyo. “Of all the courses, I think I benefitted from the coaching class the most and am looking forward to implementing it into my leadership style with the unit.”
Aside from the courses, the fly-away also gave the Airmen a unique opportunity to connect with other members from around the state.
“I think that could be the best part of all of this,” said Chief Master Sgt. Angela Ash, 152nd Airlift Wing Command Chief. “Being able to network and create friendships across the base allows us all to work better, together, in order to complete the mission.”
The leadership put on many different morale events as well as group physical training sessions in the mornings throughout the week to encourage these connections to be fostered.
Wrapping up the week was a speech by retired Chief Master Sgt. Darin Mauzy, chief operating officer and founder of Leaders of the Force and former Nevada Air National Guardsman.
“Rank does not make leadership,” said Mauzy. “It’s the people you lead and the willingness of them to follow you that will truly reveal what type of leader you really are.”
152nd Airlift Wing Commander Col. Jeremy Ford also made a trip to Tennessee to visit with the Airmen on the final day.
He spoke candidly with the Airmen about many topics from the importance of developing leaders to the benefits of having a positive attitude as well as the future of the base and its missions.
“We need [Airmen] like you all to be sure that you are ready and willing when the opportunity to step up comes,” said Ford. “You are the future leaders of the Nevada Air National Guard.”