FTAC paves way for Airmen

More than 20 first-term Airmen experience jury duty of a simulated sexual assault trial at the 39th Air Base Wing legal office Sept. 12, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The mock trial is now part of the First Term Airmen Center course required for all new Airmen to take at their first duty location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Cory Bush/Released)

More than 20 first term Airmen experience jury duty of a simulated sexual assault trial at the 39th Air Base Wing legal office Sept. 12, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The mock trial is now part of the First Term Airmen Center course required for all new Airmen to take at their first duty location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Cory Bush/Released)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Heels clicking, pens tapping, palms sweating, thoughts running around and around as if it was the first day of school. That's because it is the first day of class, the first day of the First Term Airmen Center course.

The FTAC course is designed to help Airmen acclimate to the new environment of their first duty location. FTAC guides Airmen through an intensive course to ensure an understanding of the new mission oriented atmosphere.

"Being one of the first senior non-commissioned officers to influence our new Airmen is a tremendous opportunity," said Master Sgt. Venton Horrice, 39th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor. "More specifically, it allows me the chance to go beyond the intent of the FTAC program and help the new Airmen understand why they are here at Incirlik."

The course provided by the professional development center includes numerous mandatory briefings presented by Airmen leaders and representatives from various squadrons around base.

First term Airmen learn resiliency skills, safety considerations regarding the surrounding area of Incirlik Air Base, team building through group physical fitness, and also get the opportunity to talk on an Airman to Airman basis with the wing commander and command chief.

"I thought that speaking with the wing commander would be more intimidating," said Airman 1st Class Devan Phillips, 39th Operations Support Squadron airfield management operations coordinator apprentice. "In fact it was actually a very relaxed environment and allowed for a bridge to be built between the new Airman and higher leadership."

Being able to go to leadership for advice isn't the only important aspect FTAC offers. The 39th FSS also provides an eight-hour resilience training which teaches Airmen the ability to fight back and overcome adversity.

One of the priorities of the wing is combat readiness, and another important aspect of the FTAC program is to ensure the Airmen are medically ready. These Airmen spend half a day working with six different flights at the 39th Medical Group to ensure that they meet the wings goal and are fit to fight.

At the end of the week, a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Airmen from the 39th Air Base Wing legal office reenact a sexual assault prevention and response mock trial.

"I think the sexual assault mock trial is extremely valuable," said Horrice. "It's a reenactment of a real sexual assault case and it provides our Airmen a stronger sense of reality and it helps them conceptualize how they can better 'Step Up and Step In' to prevent sexual assault, to be better wingman and make better choices."

Phillips shared how this training is important for first term Airmen.

"I think every first term Airmen should go through this mock trial," said Phillips. "This is our first exposure to military law and things are done differently in military courts than in civilian courts, so this is a good way for us to understand the differences."

The goal of FTAC is to transition the technical school graduates from a training environment to a mission oriented environment so they are medically, spiritually and physically ready to do their job and support the mission of their installation.

"We try to get the mandatory briefings and in-processing out of the way so when they report to their units they are ready to be focused on the mission and ready to learn their jobs," said Horrice.

With the wings vision of Incirlik being the perfect base to send a first term Airmen, FTAC helps the new Airmen to be innovative in finding new ways to succeed at getting the job done.

"What brings me the most fulfillment is helping the Airmen understand the 'why' they're here," said Horrice. "When they understand the role that they play and how they are supporting the wings priorities. I believe the Airmen will find a bigger fulfillment, purpose and a stronger sense of commitment towards their job and the mission of Incirlik."