Historic changes at Goodfellow make positive impact on war effort

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Thomas Dobbs
  • 316th Training Squadron commander
The 17th Training Wing is in the midst of historic change, and every member of Team Goodfellow should be proud of his or her contributions to the most significant transformation our base has experienced in at least the past fifteen years.

We're all aware that Goodfellow Air Force Base exists for the fundamental purpose of training students to perform missions critical to our national security. That's nothing new, but this isn't the same ol' Goodfellow that we might remember from years past.
Our nation is facing a much different threat than the one that existed when many of us first arrived here as students years ago.

We still face a significant threat from countries that possess large-scale conventional military forces, as well as weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.
But today we also face a different type of warfare involving terrorists and insurgents who aren't necessarily tied to any particular government or geographic boundaries, who don't concern themselves with the law of armed conflict, and who seek to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction to attack our homeland. Defeating these enemies will require much more than the overwhelming destructive power that our Armed Forces already possess. The key to victory lies in our ability find, fix, target and track our nation's enemies so we can apply our awesome combat power in a manner that best achieves our strategic and operational objectives. That's where Team Goodfellow enters the picture.

The intelligence, firefighting and special instruments training conducted in the 17th Training Group sets the stage for victory by preparing our students to perform vitally important missions that are critical to the success of combatant commanders' operations around the globe.

These missions include protecting our military forces and facilities from catastrophic attacks; analyzing and targeting insurgent and terrorist networks; identifying and locating enemy forces and leadership; assessing the capabilities of enemy air defense systems and weapons of mass destruction; and rapidly disseminating critical intelligence in order to enable the most effective use of our overwhelming combat power.

The world-class training ongoing at Goodfellow doesn't just happen; producing the next generation of warriors involves an incredible amount of thought, innovation, and hard work. Course developers, training managers, instructors, and a multitude of other professionals throughout the 17th Training Group are revolutionizing the training of our students by injecting current, operationally relevant material into our courses - material taken directly from ongoing military operations worldwide. In addition, our students are benefiting from an amazing transformation in the systems on which they train. Instead of using systems found only in the training environment, students increasingly train on the actual systems they will encounter when they graduate and move on to their first operational assignments.

Training on real operational systems - and accessing real-world data from actual combat operations - prepares students much better for the jobs they will have after graduation. Also, it reduces the amount of on-the-job training required at their first assignments and helps to ensure that our graduates are making critical contributions to victory very soon after they report for duty.

Team Goodfellow is earning widespread accolades throughout the Air Force and the national intelligence community for its amazing performance in developing and delivering this absolutely essential training.

Our personnel have garnered multiple national-level awards and have received high praise from operational commanders in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

In fact, President Bush recently paid a visit to one of our premiere national-level intelligence agencies to pay tribute to the outstanding professionals - a large percentage of whom are Goodfellow graduates - who provide much of the essential intelligence he relies upon when making critical decisions on national security issues.

Each and every member of Team Goodfellow deserves a share of the credit for the enormous progress we have made in training our students to perform missions of vital importance to our national security.

Whether you're a security forces warrior protecting our base from potential terrorist threats, a medical professional who ensures the health and mission readiness of our Airmen, a military training leader who instills the Airman-warrior ethos in our students, or any other member of the team, you are part of a vitally important effort - one that's recognized for making a strong, positive impact on the war effort. Take pride in what you do, and don't ever forget what an important part you play in helping to defeat our nation's enemies!