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HQ ARPC hosts orientation course for the Air National Guard

  • Published
  • By HQ ARPC Public Affairs
  • HQ Air Reserve Personnel Center

Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center hosted the first virtual Air Reserve Component Orientation Course August 19-20, 2020 for members of the Air National Guard.

More than 200 Guardsmen from across the country registered for the two-day course as subject-matter-experts lead interactive discussions in areas that impact Guardsmen throughout the Airman Lifecycle.

The ARC Field Orientation course is typically held at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., as members fly in from across the country to attend. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers chose to hold the course virtually to protect the safety of all involved. This change in venue brought about unique challenges but according to HQ ARPC staff, brought about some added benefits as well.

“Hosting the course virtually required us to take into account variables we’ve never considered before such as connectivity and the nuances of the Microsoft Teams platform,” said Mark Nelson, HQ ARPC historian and ARC Field Orientation facilitator. “But it also allowed us to reach a wider audience than we would have been able to accommodate had the course been held on base. We were thrilled with the level of interest and number of attendees.”

The attendees were able to take part in the course through a virtual meeting room or via conference call which allowed more than twice the usual audience size to attend the briefings. The content of the briefings were a direct result of feedback from the field on topics important to the force support community and all members at the unit level. Topics covered included participation points, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, separations, promotions and retirements.

“The content of the ARC Field Orientation course is designed to provide attendees a unique perspective on how we operate at ARPC and show how we collectively work together to support the Guard and Reserve,” said Chief Master Sgt. Sandra Ahern, Personnel and Total Force Services Superintendent.

According to Chief Ahern, while there are many similarities in the way HQ ARPC serves the Guard and Reserve, there are certain aspects that the servicing agencies at the unit level need to be aware of. The uniqueness of the ANG is what drove the decision to have a course devoted entirely to the Guard.

“We recognized there was a need for Guard-specific information to reach the MPF/CSS members at the wing level and this course provided us a great opportunity to do so,” Ahern said. “Going forward I expect to continue to see separate orientation courses for the Guard and Reserve to provide more targeted information to our customers.”

All briefings presented during the ARC Orientation Course were recorded and will be uploaded to the HQ ARPC website and YouTube page. The next virtual ARC Orientation Course will be focused on the AF Reserve and held in November, with another Guard-specific course planned for CY21.

Members interested in registering for the November course or more information on the program may email HQ ARPC at arpc.presentations1@us.af.mil.