AETC Posts Course Closure Guidance As Congress Works to Reopen the Government

Hours before the Senate vote about ending the government shutdown, CMSAF Kaleth Wright was updating airmen on Facebook, part of a series of updates he’d shared over the weekend, one linking to AETC’s course closure guidance. CMSAF Facebook photo.

Air Education and Training Command says it will continue to provide guidance to airmen until the “disruptive shutdown” is undone.

“When our leaders are notified of the government reopening, we will begin the orderly process of reaching out to our units and notifying them of a return to normal operations,” Capt. Beau Downey said in an email to Air Force Magazine on Monday. “We expect this process to be smooth.” Downey said he “encouraged” all airmen to rely on their chain of command to address concerns, and said it was not yet clear how long it will take to get things started again after Congress reaches an agreement.

“Recruiting activities, basic military training, technical training that contributes to three-level/initial skills qualification, and flying training that contributes to undergraduate and graduate qualifications are excepted activities and will continue. This includes training conducted by Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve units,” Brown wrote. “Courses that do not fit into these categories will be shut down in an orderly fashion beginning on the next regularly scheduled duty day.”

Brown said AETC expects it to take “a few days to perform the orderly shutdown of each course” and get airmen back home. The command also has specific guidance regarding what’s likely to be affected and what’s likely to continue.

Expected to continue (according to AETC’s Facebook post):

  • Basic military training
  • Enlisted and officer initial skills training/Air Force specialty code-awarding courses.
    • Includes required follow-on mission qualification training necessary to ensure members are fully mission qualified (e.g. SERE)
    • Also includes initial training in a subsequent specialty as a result of being eliminated from the first initial skills training, reclassified or cross trained
  • Initial, undergraduate, and graduate flight training
  • Courses 179 days or more in length, such as those under Air Command and Staff College and Air War College
    • Civilian students will not attend class, but they will remain in place/not return to the base from which they are TDY
  • Locally staffed and attended courses may continue, if they incur no additional costs

Examples to shut down (according to another AETC Facebook post):

  • Professional Continuing Education (PCEs), which are not required for initial skills qualification
  • Professional Military Education (PMEs) less than 179 days
    • For example: Squadron Officer School courses, Noncommissioned Officer Academy courses, etc.
  • In-residence 7-level courses
  • For students/trainees in a permanent change of station status with TDY en route to a non-excepted activity:
    • Civilian personnel on PCS orders attending training or education courses will remain in place but do not attend classes unless they are paid by an appropriation account that has unobligated balances from prior year appropriations
    • Military personnel on PCS orders attending training/education courses may continue to attend classes if the instructors are military or contractors on a contract that was in place prior to the lapse in appropriations

CMSAF Kaleth Wright shared the AETC post on Facebook, telling airmen it’s “what we know about AETC-related training, like BMT, pipeline schools, and PME.”

“Literally everything I know about this topic is included in this update. Really, now you know what I know,” Wright wrote. “Enjoy the football games tonight and lead on.”

In a separate post Monday morning, a fourth update from Wright’s Facebook page, the Chief told airmen to “take care of each other.”

“You can continue to carry out our missions all around the world, just like you have been,” he wrote. “I have your backs … thank you for having mine!”