SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
While enlisted and officer Airmen have numerous opportunities for training, education, and professional development, the same hasn’t been available for Air Force civilians.
However, Spangdahlem Air Base is working to change that by now offering a new forum tailored to civilians.
The 52nd Mission Support Group held the first Civilian Development Forum, Feb. 27, 2018, to a packed, standing-room only audience. The facilitators outlined the reasons for the forum and explained the different opportunities that will be available throughout the next year.
“The first thing I noticed when I got here was how strong of a development program we have for our enlisted and officer populations,” said Ivette O’Brien, 52nd MSG deputy director. “There was nothing like that for our civilians, and when we talk about taking care of our Airmen that means taking care of our civilians too. We are part of the total force and civilians contribute to the mission as much as anyone else. This forum sends the message that we care about what our civilians do and we care about their development, just like we care about the enlisted and officer members.”
The forum is offered the second Tuesday of every month in building 131. The topics will vary monthly and include subjects such as conflict management, mentorship, and resilience. It is open to all Spangdahlem civilians, and while it is not mandatory to attend, interested civilians are highly encouraged to sign up via SharePoint to ensure there are enough seats and materials.
“The foundation is a monthly session where civilians can get together and it is civilians leading civilians,” said Nicole Gomez, Force Support Squadron civilian personnel flight chief. “We're offering a buffet of options to allow them to look at their own individual goals and decide if any of these options are going to help them get to where they want to be.”
Last summer, Air Force leaders released a set of new priorities. Included in those priorities was the need to “Develop Exceptional Leaders… to lead the world’s most powerful teams.”
Consequently, the CDF aligns directly with that priority, giving our civilians the resources they need to grow individually, ultimately improving Spangdahlem Air Base and the Air Force as a whole.
“A lot of the civilian work force is only here for a short time,” Gomez said. “If we can help grow civilians as individuals and help them reach their career goals, then I think that will benefit the entire Air Force.”
Creating the CDF started with the new Air Force priorities, but really took shape due to Spangdahlem leadership team support and hard work from civilian leaders across the base.
“We have been working on many fronts to provide better training and education for all of our employees and this forum brings all the efforts together,” said Nadine Christoffel, 52nd FSS human resources specialist.
To sign up to attend a CFD, please visit: https://portal.usafe.af.mil/sites/52MSG/SitePages/CDF.aspx
Here are the currently scheduled topics for the upcoming year:
10 April: Military Professional Writing
08 May: Conflict Management
12 June: Mentorship
10 July: Time Management
14 August: Leadership vs. Followership
11 September: Teambuilding and Motivation
09 October: TBD
13 November Stress Management
11 December: Resilience Training