DVIDS – News – Honorary Commander program sparks educational partnership

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As a unit of the Air National Guard, the 189th Airlift Wing vigorously accepts the enormous responsibility of supporting the communities, cities and individuals that make up our ranks. Not only does the wing support the state through national and emergency responses, but also through education and outreach to potential rangers. The importance of recruiting knowledgeable and supportive individuals into the Air National Guard and 189 AW is no small feat. As the mission grows, so does the need for the guards to support it.

Recently, Colonel Martin, 189 AW Commander, and Dr. Margaret Ellibee, Dean of Students at the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical University, worked together to develop specific educational goals related to cyber skills. The groundbreaking plan came about after forging a strong relationship through the Honorary Commander program of Team Little Rock. This program is designed to integrate community leaders into the military lifestyle and educate them on the responsibilities of the Airmen they hire, support and work with on a daily basis.

As Dean of Students, Dr. Ellibee has first hand knowledge of the importance of properly forming and educating minds. The 189 AW pursues similar faceted objectives to those of the C-130H training center and that of a specialized cyber training center for DOD. With similar goals in mind, Martin and Ellibee collaborated with their subject matter experts to create a special internship for UAPTC students to receive first-hand experience and credits to achieve their degree goals with trained Airmen from 223 Cyberspace Operations Squadron. The first intern, Mr. Roderick Murdoch, successfully completed the internship in eight weeks, receiving credits towards his Associate Degree in Cyber ​​Security.

“It was a great opportunity for Mr. Murdoch and the rest of the cyber team here at the 223rd,” said Senior Master Sgt. William Cox, 223rd COS operations superintendent. “Without Colonel Martin’s passion for education, I don’t see any of this happening.

To continue this advanced educational journey, the wing leadership fostered an innovation team led by aviators. Cox has become the cyber point of contact for finding ways to help not only Airmen, but the community as well. This internship has two goals: to help UAPTC students gain the knowledge and experience they might not be able to gain in the civilian workforce, and to open up recruiting opportunities for the Air National Guard.

“Allowing students to see what we do here and what they have the potential to work with as the millions of dollars in equipment and hands-on experience can inspire them to join the Air National Guard,” Cox said. “This is in addition to our goal of supporting and helping our community. ”

Already with a stable knowledge base, Murdoch was integrated into the Cyber ​​Squadron Engineering Flight, working on the squadron-hosted cyber scopes. While in the unit, he was able to create, maintain and help create simulated cybernetic environments that students can practice on, honing his cybersecurity skills.

Cox explained that while students attending UAPTC can intern at both civilian and private companies, training at 223 COS provides advanced and valuable cybernetic capabilities not available with other internships. Advanced training also adds a wider range of experiences to a resume when students are ready to enter the workforce.

The program is available for UAPTC students who are currently in the e-education program. To qualify for the internship, a student must be in their final year of class, have at least a GPA of 3.5, and be recommended by a college professor. Internships are available every semester and can accommodate one to two students per semester. Although the course was originally designed for eight-week sessions, hosting Mr. Murdoch, it has now been incorporated into a 16-week internship to provide students with additional experience and opportunities for growth.

“We have partnered and worked with UA-PTC since 2019 with the goal of expanding the cybersecurity workforce for the State of Arkansas, the Air National Guard, and our community partners.” said Col. Dean Martin, commander of the 189th Airlift Wing. “With the growing demand for cybersecurity and IT professionals, the UA-PTC partnership with the 223rd COS is benefiting the Arkansas economy by developing professionals with operational cybersecurity experience who are ready to lead in the evolving technology industry. As a cyber state, the future Arkansas workforce and the Arkansas National Guard stand to benefit greatly from this program. ”

Date taken: 01.09.2022
Date posted: 09/01/2022 09:20
Story ID: 412629
Site: LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, AR, US

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