LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
For the new 37th Training Group commander, his latest assignment is like coming full circle.
Col. Gregory Reese's first stop after graduating the Air Force Academy was for technical training at Lackland. Now, just more than 20 years later, the New York native finds himself back on base albeit under much different circumstances.
His first tour at Lackland, in 1990, was learning the security forces career field. That career field is now just one of the many training areas Colonel Reese oversees since assuming command of the 37th TRG from Col. Joseph Romano on July 28.
"I'm having a great time learning how we take graduated BMT (basic military training) Airmen and turn them into technical experts in their career fields," Colonel Reese said, "When I was told I'd be the 37th TRG commander, I thought, this is great. It's the best job I could ever dream of."
"Some of the fondest memories I have are from being an instructor, so I am really looking forward to (this assignment)."
Colonel Reese arrived at Lackland having spent the previous year as Defense Force commander, 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, Al Udeid Air Base.
The commander has set several goals in his assignment as leader of the largest Air Education and Training Command technical training group that supports more than 38,000 students annually, 1,600 personnel, 180 facilities and equipment valued at more than $100 million.
With the 342nd Training Squadron soon to be relocated as a detachment to Fort Lee, Va., Colonel Reese sees the benefits of Airmen and Soldiers training together.
"One of my priorities (is to instill in those technical school Airmen) that we're not just training on an Army post, but we're training with Soldiers and actually building a better joint war fighter," he said. "You often have Airmen, Soldiers and Marines working in the same functions on the same base (down range).
"Airmen and Soldiers learning to communicate with each other effectively and understanding each others' service cultures should allow joint training to create more efficiency."
Colonel Reese said also he would like to formalize some curriculum areas in the Military Training Leaders course to give MTLs additional tools to succeed, particularly in the character development of the technical school students.
"We count on the MTLs to move technical school students down the pipeline," Colonel Reese said. "Technical school students always remember that MTL who helped prepare them for their first operational base.
"We want to build on the foundation from BMT and enhance Col. Mott's (Col. William H. Mott V, 37th Training Wing commander) vision of creating warrior Airmen of character."