Eighth Air Force holds first Airpower Leadership Academy Published May 1, 2019 By SrA Luke Hill 8th AIr Force Public Affairs BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- “Good leaders are born, but most are developed,” said Chief Master Sgt. Melvina Smith, 8th Air Force command chief & senior enlisted leader, Joint-Global Strike Operation Center. “They are a result of hard work and focused efforts. Leadership is not a passive ‘let it happen’ attribute and it takes a focused and deliberate approach to mold sustainable leaders.” To help develop Eighth Air Force’s next generation of leaders, the Mighty Eighth is implementing its first Airpower Leadership Academy, also known as ALA, beginning May 3. The course will continue through July 12. ALA is a mentorship program that targets select staff and technical sergeants from 8th Air Force and the Joint-Global Strike Operations Center. During the course, noncommissioned officers advance their understanding and proficiency in the five pillars of ALA: relationships, expectations, academics, character and health. The goal of these pillars is to amplify quality leadership characteristics in NCOs. “Airpower Leadership Academy is an opportunity to provide a high level of mentorship to NCOs within a structured format tackling relevant and important topics,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Barrios, 608th Air Operations Center operations section chief, who is overseeing the program. “The confidence and knowledge gained from the course will be priceless throughout the career of NCO’s.” ALA contains six sessions, which cover various topics such as “making the hard call,” purpose-cause-belief, empowerment, academics, health, enlisted force structure and cross-cultural competencies. The inaugural class can expect sessions to take place May 3, 17, 31, June 14, 28, and finish on July 12. The sessions will be located in the Sweeney Conference Room. Civilian attire is welcomed and encouraged. Sergeants interested in attending should reach out to their leadership. In addition, leadership should look for and nominate Airmen that they believe are ready for ALA. “ALA is a great opportunity for NCOs,” said Smith. “The quality education is a chance to hone leadership skill which will be priceless throughout your career.” For any questions or concerns regards ALA please reach out to Master Sgt. Kenneth Barrios.