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Inaugural Senior Enlisted Symposium held by Delaware Air Guard

Delaware Air National Guard senior enlisted members and officers pose during the inaugural Delaware ANG Senior Enlisted Symposium held Oct. 20, 2014 at the Delaware National Guard's Bethany Beach Training Site, Del. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Mickey Kirschenbaum)

Delaware Air National Guard senior enlisted members and officers pose during the inaugural Delaware ANG Senior Enlisted Symposium held Oct. 20, 2014 at the Delaware National Guard's Bethany Beach Training Site, Del. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Maj. Mickey Kirschenbaum)

DELAWARE NATIONAL GUARD BETHANY BEACH TRAINING SITE, Del. -- Senior enlisted leaders from the Delaware Air National Guard met for three days following the October 18-19, 2014 Unit Training Assembly for the inaugural Senior Enlisted Symposium.

The symposium provided a unique opportunity for the senior enlisted leaders to hear from the Delaware ANG leadership and provided a valuable setting for training and the exchange of ideas. This will provide the senior enlisted leaders with the tools necessary to better support the Airmen of the Air Guard.

Brigadier Gen. Carol Timmons, assistant adjutant general for air, Delaware National Guard, kicked off the symposium. She told the team about how the idea for the symposium came about and that she hopes the members in attendance would get a better understanding of the processes and how to utilize those tools to better provide for the Airmen in their care.

Colonel Mike Feeley, commander, 166th Airlift Wing, spoke to the team about where the Delaware ANG is now, where we are going and the importance of not only recruiting new members, but training and mentoring those members throughout their careers.

The first day consisted of briefings from Col. Dennis Hunsicker, director of staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Delaware ANG, regarding the role of the headquarters and joint operations with the Delaware Army National Guard.  The team also heard briefings from Delaware ANG State Command Chief Master Sergeant Steven Stinsky, and 166th AW Command Chief Master Sergeant Shaune Peters.

The senior enlisted leaders also heard a passionate speech from the adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard, Maj. Gen Frank Vavala, who said, "Everyone should be proud of being a member of our National Guard." He went on to stress the importance of supporting our Airmen and instilling a sense of pride in them.

The remainder of the symposium included workshops where the senior leaders broke out into smaller groups, learning about writing effective Enlisted Performance Reports, Airman Comprehensive Assessments, official biographies, awards and the importance of recruiting and retention.

The symposium was originally scheduled for last October, however due to the government shutdown and fiscal constraints it was rescheduled for this year.

The plan is to conduct a symposium every 18 months to refresh the members' skills and provide valuable information to the newest members attaining the ranks of senior master sergeant and first sergeant.

Feedback from attendees was extremely positive and the consensus was that this symposium was invaluable.