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NEWS | Oct. 22, 2019

344th Training Squadron Airman recognized by Oxnard Chamber of Commerce

By Allison Miller 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Mykal Tanner, 344th Training Squadron Military Handling Equipment instructor, was recognized as the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce’s Air Force Active Duty Member of the Year in a ceremony Sept. 20.

Tanner, who is stationed at Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme, California, was recognized for his involvement in the Heavy Equipment Skills curriculum redesign where he implemented the use of electronic tablets into the program. 

“It means the world to me to be recognized by my leadership not only here at the schoolhouse, but by our group commander (Col. Bailey),” Tanner said. “I was also recognized by civilian leadership in the state of California.”

Integrating the use of electronic tablets and cutting out the use of paper packets has saved the command $12,000 annually. The tablets are also more user-friendly for the students going through the course and sets them up for future success in their career fields where similar technology will be utilized.

“Not only do the tablets help our command, but the tablets set students up for success because in the Vehicle Management career field, at most bases, the mechanics are utilizing tablets or an electronic version of a technical order so the students are learning at the basic level how to search and to complete certain jobs so they could streamline progression and be efficient at time management,” Tanner added.

This initiative is one of many conducted throughout the Air Education Training Command designed to streamline cost effectiveness and modernize training.

Since his arrival to Port Hueneme in June of 2018, Tanner has instructed more than 500 hours of training to members of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force on the basics of internal combustion engines also known as “Gas Phase.”  In June 2019, Tanner began working with only Airmen and he has instructed more than 600 additional hours of MHE fundamentals and schematics where students will operate the functions of vehicles.

Tanner’s time in the Air Force has enabled him to achieve one of his life’s goals of becoming a teacher. After achieving that goal he is now able to continue his education and help future students by providing them with the tools necessary to be more successful.

“I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was 15 years old,” Tanner said. “The Air Force has given me a platform to enhance my goals especially with all the certificates that we have the privilege of earning.”