Bazaar of Falcons: Second Air Force leaders visit Goodfellow

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Bowman
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

It’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child, and for the sons and daughters of the United States who join the Air Force, that village is the Second Air Force.

From the first days of Basic Military Training to technical training schools across the nation, Second Air Force trains 93% of Airmen. This monumental task requires dedication, commitment, discipline, and teamwork. In order to accelerate the speed and quality of training, Maj. Gen. Michele Edmondson, Second Air Force commander, hosted a meeting of the minds between 24 leaders across the numbered Air Force. This team nicknamed the ‘Bazaar of Falcons,’ came together at Goodfellow Air Force Base for a week of collaboration and strategic planning, Aug. 24-26.

“This feels like being home for the holidays and seeing this wonderful family all together in one room,” said Edmondson. “This week is going to be a phenomenal opportunity for us to come together and collaborate on the future direction of Second Air Force.”

The Second Air Force command team emphasized the importance of regrounding the focus of training and solidifying the objectives of all their units. In a world of ever-evolving threats, the training environment has undergone rapid development to ensure Airmen are graduating from their technical training ‘fit to fight’ from day one. As the training pipeline continues to transform, the Second Air Force command team reaffirms the importance of instilling the tools of self-discipline in trainees as they begin their transformation into the United States Air Force’s most lethal weapon system, Airmen.

“This journey unites us in one strong value, one shared family. When we lower our standard, we are short-changing our Airmen,” said Edmondson. “We cannot simply walk past problems; we need to hold ourselves and our wingmen accountable. Failure to reinforce the Air Force standards of excellence does have devastating consequences. Peer leadership is very hard, but that’s all the more reason for us to teach these young Airmen how to lead themselves and others down the right path.”

During the visit, Col. Matthew Reilman, 17th Training Wing commander, showcased how the 17th TRW is meeting Second Air Force objectives by giving visiting leaders a tour of the base. This opened conversation for leaders to expand these ideas to branch out across the numbered Air Force.

“I truly enjoyed hosting the bazaar here at Goodfellow,” said Reilman. “I’m incredibly proud of my Raiders who coordinated this visit with the Second Air Force team, bringing these great minds together and showcase the amazing things we’re doing within the 17th TRW. It really opened the doors for some great conversation taking place about the future of training not only on Goodfellow, but across Second Air Force.”

Though the Falcons came together from separate units across the nation, the philosophy of ‘one team, one fight’ was a hot topic of discussion. The Second Air Force command team reinforced the sentiment of building the Air Force family.

“These are somebody’s sons and daughters they’re entrusting us with. We need to keep that trust in our minds as we bring them into the Air Force family,” said Edmonson “It’s our job to transform them from civilians into Airmen and deliver them to their first duty station fit to fight day one. We do that by pouring our resources, our time, and our care into each and every individual, one Airman at a time.”

The bazaar ended with the 2nd annual challenge of the feathers event. Each wing in attendance delivered a unique and engaging team-building exercise that was indicative of their training mission and designed to challenge the other participants. Each wing competed in the challenges, promoting friendly competition amongst the leaders within Second Air Force. The 17th TRW scored the highest across all events, dethroning the reigning champions, the Special Warfare Training Wing. The 17th TRW will hold the trophy until the next challenge of the feathers event, when the wings will compete in new challenges.

The Bazaar of Falcons ended their week of collaboration by thanking the 17th TRW for hosting, and by reaffirming the importance of cooperation within Second Air Force to ensure that no matter what career field they choose, new Airmen are developed into competent capable professionals ready to ‘fly, fight, and win,’ from the moment they graduate from any Second Air Force tech school.