Intel squadron program develops empowered Airmen Published May 13, 2022 By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – The 21st Intelligence Squadron – the only active-duty Intel Squadron in AFMC – embarked last year in a very intentional effort to assess and fill the gaps in the professional development of their Airmen. As the squadron was going through significant organizational changes, Lt. Col. Jonathan Saas, 21 IS commander, wanted a means to develop empowered expert Airmen. What followed was the Deliberate Professional Development Program that involves officers, enlisted, civilians and contractors in a series of monthly events each with a unique focus. In light of the organizational changes, their common identity was an early focus. “I wanted to meet our Squadron at that place of organizational identity, and really focusing on establishing firmly, what is our identity, what is our purpose, what is our why,” said Maj. Christina Hayhurst, 21 IS Assistant Director of Operations and lead for the program. “There's so much research that you can read about in different professional development books about how important it is for your members to come into the office knowing what the unified mission is, how important that is for morale and resiliency to make sure that everyone is focusing on going in the same direction.” They started with sessions to focus on the mission and then broadened out to explore their role in AFLCMC and AFMC. The unit is charged with providing actionable intelligence information on current and future threats to ensure Air Force systems are developed to dominate the battlefield of the future. Recognizing how their unique skillsets support the acquisition mission is vital, especially for members embedded within the program offices. “We ended that series focusing on individuals, because each person has their own set of skills and experiences that they can bring to the fight every day,” Hayhurst said. They kicked off the New Year with a three-month focus called Journey to Empowerment. April saw the start of a new focus called Ownership. “Each of these build upon each other,” Hayhurst said. Each month has a large presentation or training followed by a flight or squadron activity. For instance, in March the day started with a physical training session, then a leadership development presentation and finally a volunteer activity. “It happened to be Pi Day, and so we partnered with the USO to deliver pies across different units on base,” Hayhurst said. “A couple of other service events that we did was going to a local park and just doing park beautification there. The last thing was volunteering at an organization called Hannah's Treasure, which is a children's charity that collects toys, clothes, books, and things for kids in the local community.” To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at https://youtu.be/jR4psLomjLI. You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.