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217th Air Operations Group Hosts Contingency Planning Course

Instructor Bob Barthelmess discusses elements of a force package during the Contingency Wartime Planner Course at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base from Sept. 18-28, 2012. (U. S. Air National Guard Photos by Tech. Sgt. Alec Lloyd/Released)

Instructor Bob Barthelmess discusses elements of a force package during the Contingency Wartime Planner Course at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base from Sept. 18-28, 2012. (U. S. Air National Guard Photos by Tech. Sgt. Alec Lloyd/Released)

The faculty and students of Contingency Wartime Planning Course at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base from Sept. 18-28, 2012. (U. S. Air National Guard Photos by Tech. Sgt. Alec Lloyd/Released)

The faculty and students of Contingency Wartime Planning Course at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base from Sept. 18-28, 2012. (U. S. Air National Guard Photos by Tech. Sgt. Alec Lloyd/Released)

September 28, 2012 -- The 217th Air Operations Group hosted a session of the Contingency Wartime Planner Course from 18 to 28 September at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. The course significantly improved the 217th's growing capabilities and moved it further along its path of integration into the Air Force's command and control structure.

"As operational planners, it is imperative that we understand the Joint and Air Force operation planning process," said Lt. Col. Robert Tyson, the A-5 Director for the 217th Air Component Operations Squadron. "The CWPC course provides us with the tools and knowledge to do our jobs more effectively and efficiently. The instructors, through their unique backgrounds, were able to teach the art and science of the planning process from both the joint and Air Force perspectives.

"This education, along with our real-world planning experiences, make us that much more valuable as an asset to the Air Force."

Three instructors from the LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education at Air University, located at Maxwell Air Force Base, provided lessons in strategic and operational planning. Topics included every aspect of planning, from top-level strategic concerns to operational and tactical issues. Students learned the latest Air Force doctrine and split time between classroom lectures and a hands-on simulation of contingency planning.

"Battle Creek's new facilities provided an excellent environment for the course," said Maj. James Swisher, the course chairman. "This was a great visit with superb host unit support."

While 217th members made up the majority of the class, other attendees included civilian employees and members U.S. Air Forces in Europe, based in Ramstein Air Base, Germany and the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 111th Air Operations Group based at Horsham Air National Guard.

Master Sgt. Walter Milewski was one of the Pennsylvania Airmen. "The education we received was very beneficial and the hospitality was great," he said.