Changes coming to 131st Student Flight
By Airman 1st Class Whitney Erhart, 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 14, 2021
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- A National Guard Bureau policy change for 131st Bomb Wing student flight Airmen is expected to deliver additional training benefits by getting them more time with their sections and reducing some organizational tasks.
The policy directive, effective as of May 2021, will move responsibility for student flight from force support squadrons onto gaining units, allowing commanders’ support staff to have oversight and access for their incoming Airmen
“What we’re trying to do with student flight is maintain our operational responsibilities while streamlining the administrative responsibilities,” said Capt. Ciarra M. Schlutow, the 131st BW student flight interim officer-in-charge.
Schlutow said that the goal is to streamline tasks such as taking attendance for payroll and getting demand reduction lists to their people so they can maximize training time. She is also evaluating ways to allow student flight Airmen to have more time with their gaining units during drills.
Other changes Schlutow discussed were inviting in additional guest speakers and implementing community service projects into the student flight program.
“We’re still trying to work out community service, like pulling weeds up at Heritage Park and the little small things that can add ownership and belonging to the 131st,” she said.
Even with these changes, student flight’s core mission remains the same: preparing Guard Airmen for training by helping students with in-processing, learning the Air Force Core Values, the Airman’s Creed and Air Force Handbook, doing physical training, and preparing for basic military training.
“The Guard is special because we have longevity,” said Schlutow. “We’re here and we see the big picture and the big patterns that happen. The more that we can cultivate people who are happy here, comfortable here and are reaping all those benefits, the stronger the Guard will be. The mission is awesome but if we don’t have people to do that mission then we fail. Student flight is our first ‘hit the ground running’ of building that relationship and building a career in the Air Force.”