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NEWS | May 26, 2022

AETC Det. 23 ‘rebrands’ to transform 21st Century Air Force learning and readiness

By Dan Hawkins Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

Leaders from Air Education and Training Command unveiled Detachment 23’s rebranded focus on the integration of advanced force development data with the latest technology, with a goal of transforming Air Force learning and readiness in the 21st Century during a FORCECON 2022 panel at the Tech Port Center and Arena in San Antonio May 24.

In an example of how the service is accelerating change and under the moniker “Advanced Force Development – Technologies” the detachment’s focus will be on completing the building and fielding of a force development-focused data engine using the latest technologies to enable real-time readiness monitoring and decision-making from Air Force commanders at all levels.

“When Detachment 23 was formed in 2019, it built the concept for Maintenance Training Next, utilizing AR/VR and machine learning, which evolved into Technical Training Transformation,” said Col. Thomas Wegner, director of AETC’s A9 Analysis and Innovation Directorate. "Today, and in partnership with academia and industry, we have expanded Det. 23's vision to broaden its efforts to include force development where ever it takes place.  This expansion of effort blazes a trail and sets the foundation of service-wide force development and readiness through exploration and delivery of modern technology solutions."   

Maj. Jesse Johnson, Detachment 23's commander, discussed the initial focus on maintenance training as being a critical first step in truly understanding the need for the Air Force to have the ability to connect multiple different platforms into a single user experience.

“We understand now that the mission is to provide a digital infrastructure that integrates service-wide force development and readiness training delivery analysis and reporting across different platforms,” Johnson said. “The innovation opportunity we have to work is creating the system that will translate data from multiple different capabilities into a single language that will then be pushed into an Airman’s Learning Record.”

Once that is complete, the next step is applying artificial intelligence tools on top of the learner record to allow actionable decision-making space at the commander level to work in real-time and ultimately, know the training readiness of the force at any given time, Johnson said.

To this end, Detachment 23 has been building out an application called MOTAR (Member-Operations-Training-Analysis-Reporting) within myLearning to revolutionize warfighter training by providing unprecedented access to immersive, state-of-the-art, Airman-centered training.

“The collaborative, scalable architecture in MOTAR provides the best training tools and easier life-cycle upgrades to rapidly field up-to-date, cutting edge content in myLearning,” Johnson said. “MOTAR also possesses the capability to provide robust performance analytics to our talent management systems, keeping our force aggressively modern by following Airmen from the beginning of their career, all the way to retirement.”

“Our vision is, all the way up to the Air Force chief of staff, is for commanders to be able to log in on one system and view their commander dashboard,” Johnson said. “This is going to tell them the readiness of the entire Force right then and there.”

During the presentation, Johnson noted the way Airmen live and work today and the expectations for a modern digital service that allows them the best opportunity to learn the way their brains have been developed to learn.

“We're going to make the Air Force match the commercials, and work to provide them with the level of technology they expect in their life right now,” Johnson said. “A majority of the force remembers coming into basic military training and the first thing that happens is their smartphone is taken away. That's not conducive to the way they grew up in their K-12 experience.  Our focus is empowering Airmen to learn in the connected way they live using high-quality interactive content across multiple devices, on-demand, with self-paced, experiential, and multi-modal options.”

The announcement was made during FORCECON 2022: Innovation – Technology – Gaming, an interactive industry and academia collider event and gaming competition being held at the Tech Port Center and Arena May 24-29.  The collider event is part of a deliberate action to align efforts with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.’s Action Order - Airmen, focused on developing the force, and Action Order - Bureaucracy, which outlines the need to speed up decision-making processes with a goal of allowing more space for innovation.