New face of RAAF education

March 14, 2001

Training Officer Initial Course graduate, FLGOFF Andrea Pearson gains an operational training focus.
Eight new Education Officers (EDOs) graduated in December from the Royal Australian Air Force School of Management and Training Technology's (RAAFSMTT) Training Officer Initial Course.

It was a significant event for both the graduates and RAAFSMTT, being the first time since 1997 that the course had been offered in the Air Force.

While the term 'Education Officer' is still technically correct, there have been moves to rename the specialisation 'Training Officer', but this has yet to be confirmed.

The graduates from the recent course will represent the 'new face' of the Education Officer.

Long gone is the concept of the EDO as someone who inhabits libraries, organises resettlement and fills out countless course-related forms.

Post DRP, these tasks are undertaken through the various Defence Corporate Support networks and EDOs focus on supporting the RAAF System of Training at policy and operational levels.

Six of the graduates came from a variety of teaching backgrounds within the school and TAFE systems; the other two are commissioned Airmen who brought with them significant Air Force technical training experience.

Flying Officer Garth Herriott, a civilian teacher before entering the military, said the training he had been given would provide the necessary background skills needed to undertake his new job as a junior Education Officer.

Fellow graduate, Flight Lieutenant Gordon Brown, said the need for Air Force personnel to be kept on the 'cutting edge of performance' with the aid of expert training motivated him to become an Education Officer.

The mix of youth and experience in the course ensured participants attained the variety of skills and knowledge necessary to contribute to the evolving and changing needs of the Education Officer in the Air Force.

The aim of the Training Officer Initial Course is to 'graduate officers capable of discharging Air Force Training Officer duties in a range of junior officer appointments'.

Students spent time in the classroom at Wagga and visited HQTC and various training units.

During the first two weeks of the course, the EDOs tackled the intricacies of the RAAF System of Training, developed strategies for advising commanders and managers on the implementation of RAAF Training Policy and Procedures, and evaluated training methods.

A feature of the course was a hands-on assessment of the training at Health Services Training Flight. Participants also had the opportunity to visit operational and training units at RAAF Base Richmond, to analyse how training systems were linked to operational capability. The majority of the course graduates have been posted to RAAFSMTT, where they will work as either Training Quality Officers on bases or delivering the suite of RAAFSMTT courses.

Commanding Officer RAAFSMTT, Wing Commander Kathryn Dunn, reflected on the quality of the graduates, saying they were of 'excellent calibre, hard working, motivated and professional'.

By Ben Caddaye and SQNLDR Dave Lavicka