New era begins for Air Guard Military education system Published Sept. 7, 2010 By Chief Master Sgt. Ken Gray 152 AW Reno -- New era begins for Air Guard military education system By Chief Master Sgt. Ken Gray Nevada Air National Guard RENO -- A new era of professional education dawned for the Airmen in the Nevada Air National Guard when nine Airmen from the 152nd Airlift Wing became the first graduates of the Satellite Non-Commissioned Officer Academy on June 29. This marked the first course conducted primarily via satellite that allowed the Airmen to remain in Reno for the majority of the course. The course was conducted in conjunction with the Paul Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center located at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Alcoa, Tenn., and 15 other sites located throughout the country. To achieve a residential credit for the course, Air Guard students were historically required to attend the six-week course in Tennessee or at an active duty base. The course began in February in a virtual classroom that included units from New York to Alaska. The students participated in exercises and guided discussions in real time linked via satellite with the instructors and the other students throughout the country. Each site also had a cadre of facilitators. Volunteering to support the program as facilitators for Nevada were Senior Master Sgt. Erich Kolbe and Master Sgt. Shawn Marston from the 152nd Airlift Wing. The second phase took place at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base. During the two-week resident phase, the students met their instructors and fellow students. They completed the exercises required for graduation and honed their writing and public -more- 2-2-2-2 Air Guard military education speaking skills. The course culminated with a formal dinner and graduation ceremony in Tennessee attended by the commander of the 152nd Airlift Wing, Col. Dave Snyder, and the Air Guard's command chief master sergeant, Chief Master Sgt. Rick Scurry. Two of Nevada's Airmen, Tech. Sgt. David Price and Staff Sgt. Kim Whetzel, were recognized as distinguished graduates for their dedication and hard work. Price was also nominated for the Commandant's Award. The next Satellite Academy is slated to begin in late August. The Nevada Air Guard intends to open a second site located in the Las Vegas area in the near future. For information about becoming a student or facilitator, call Chief Master Sgt. Ken Gray at (775) 348-5116.