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178th Airmen create innovative force development tool

Three Airmen sit around a table to create a force development tool to enhance service member career plans.

178th Wing Airmen create a force development tool to enhance service member career plans at Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio, Oct. 25, 2020. A team of traditional Guardsmen worked together for more than a year to develop this tool. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Rachel Simones)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio --

Airmen with the 178th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group (ISRG) recently developed a prototype force development tool at the Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio.

“Our prototype seeks to consolidate existing feedback tools, capture the skills our Airmen have, and to make them more readily accessible to supervisors and commanders to better inform organizational decision making,” said Lt. Col. Michael Roark, the 178th ISRG Commander. “Our platform introduces the use of competency modeling to make those values and skills we prioritize more transparent, and to establish continuous career feedback and individualized force development plans.”

This force development tool leverages comprehensive career data to improve the overall growth and organizational effectiveness of Airmen. Over the last year, a small team of traditional Guardsmen worked to create a prototype that ultimately provides Airmen with guidance and opportunities for career progression. The team hopes to secure funding to further develop this prototype into a system capable of being used by wings across the Air Force.

The team was inspired by Air National Guard leadership ideals and existing Air Force Instructions. They wanted to use these standards to allow leaders to make accurate, data-driven decisions. They honed in on pitfalls of current force development platforms to create a prototype that encompasses all the details of an Airman’s experience, from civilian duty capabilities to special projects and significant achievements.

“This tool actually creates a comprehensive narrative of an Airman’s career,” said Capt. Peter Herrmann, the 178th ISRG Chief of Plans and Programs. “It fills in the gaps of current force development platforms to provide the full picture of an Airman’s skills. Often times, traditional Guardsmen have unique experience outside of their Guard career, and we want to leverage that total experience to match them with the best opportunities.”

With this tool, Airmen and supervisors can create a better overall plan of professional development through constructive, timely and illustrative feedback. Personnel will have increased opportunities for force development communication with leadership to address career aspirations, expectations, future opportunities and overall job performance.

“Being a part of this project has given me a different perspective of my military future, and the future for others as well,” said Tech. Sgt. Abbey Fawcett, a key member of the 178th ISRG force development team. “Knowing that it will increase opportunities for force development and address career expectations could be the key we need to implement change in order to enhance the culture, processes, morale, and career opportunities within the Air National Guard.”

The 178th ISRG Airmen hope to further develop this tool so personnel throughout the Air Force can enhance their career development, be aware of opportunities, and find a renewed sense of direction.