Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education
/ Published June 27, 2016
The Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education was activated in July 2008. The Barnes Center provides degree and professional-development education opportunities to more than 300,000 enlisted Airmen each year. The center provides Enlisted Professional Military Education, Career Development Courses, and Associate of Applied Science Degrees and professional certifications through the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), which is accredited through AU by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), to award the associate’s degree.
The Barnes Center also provides education to those Airmen selected for first sergeant duty through the First Sergeant Academy and captures and archives enlisted accomplishments through the Enlisted Heritage Research Institute (EHRI). The CCAF provides associate of applied science degrees and other professional credentials that enhance mission readiness, contribute to recruiting, assist in retention, support the career transition of Air Force enlisted members, and facilitate enlisted members in completing their bachelor’s degrees.
Enlisted PME (EPME) programs are managed through the center’s dean of academic affairs. Academic Affairs is responsible for the development and standardization of four resident EPME programs and three DL programs encompassing all levels on the continuum of enlisted leadership development. Academic Affairs is also responsible for faculty and staff development for personnel assigned to EPME programs Air Force–wide. More than 50,000 enlisted Airmen complete EPME programs each year.
The Enlisted Professional Military Education Instructor Course (EPMEIC) strives to produce noncommissioned officers (NCO) who can both teach and lead effectively in and out of the classroom. The curriculum is designed to heighten students’ appreciation for and understanding of classroom fundamentals, technical skills associated with EPME classrooms, and the typical day-to-day performance expected of EPME professionals. EPMEIC teaches methodologies that are very specific to EPME and is considered the “gateway” for an EPME instructor.
The Airman Leadership School (ALS) is the first level of the EPME continuum and prepares senior Airmen to be professional, war-fighting Airmen who can supervise and lead Air Force work teams to support the employment of airpower. Currently, there are 68 ALS programs worldwide; ALS is also available via DL.
The Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) is the second level of enlisted PME and prepares technical sergeants to be professional, war-fighting Airmen who can manage and lead Air Force units in the employment of airpower. Currently, there are 10 NCOAs worldwide with a DL option.
The Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (AFSNCOA) is the third level of enlisted PME. AFSNCOA prepares senior NCOs to lead the enlisted force in the employment of airpower in support of US national security objectives. There is a single resident AFSNCOA located at Maxwell AFB–Gunter Annex, along with a DL option.
The CMSgt Leadership Course is a recently approved school which will prepare newly selected CMSgts for duties at the operational and strategic level. There is a single resident CA located at Maxwell AFB–Gunter Annex, along with a DL option.
In addition to the above EPME programs, the Barnes Center also provides oversight to the Air Force First Sergeant Academy (FSA). The FSA—a professional continuing education program—educates, trains, and prepares select senior NCOs to serve as advisors to commanders on issues that impact Airmen as they accomplish the Air Force mission.
The Barnes Center is also home to the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute (EHRI). EHRI is dedicated to preserving the rich and dramatic heritage and tradition of the enlisted corps of the US Air Force dating back to the US Army Aeronautical Division, Army Air Service, Army Air Corps, and Army Air Forces.
The Air Force Career Development Academy (AFCDA) is the newest member of the Barnes Center. This organization is responsible for the instructional development, management, delivery, and evaluation of Air Force career development courses (CDC) and select specialized courses. AFCDA also produces and distributes study materials for the Air Force Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS).
50 South Turner Blvd
Maxwell-Gunter AFB AL 36114-3107