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Gunter NCO Academy reopens after nearly a decade

Gunter NCOA staff cut the ribbon leading to the new Gunter NCOA

Left to right, Toxie Robbins, former Gunter Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, Chief Master Sgt. Tracie Timmerman, Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education command chief, Col. Kathryn Brown, Barnes Center commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Rosita Goodrum, Gunter NCOA commandant cut a ribbon at the reopening ceremony for the Gunter NCOA Oct. 1, 2020, Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Alabama. Gunter NCOA’s close proximity to the Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education makes the academy an ideal host site for new EPME initiatives and allows instructional system designers to test curriculum in real time before they are implemented throughout all Air Force NCO academies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske)

Balloons at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Balloons at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 1, 2020, at the Gunter Noncommissioned Officer Academy on Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Alabama. The Gunter NCOA is reopening after operations were suspended in 2013, when the Paul W. Airey NCOA on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, took over NCO training for the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske)

Toxie Robbins, former Gunter Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, poses for a photo beside Chief Master Sgt. Rosita Goodrum, the new commandant of Gunter NCOA

Toxie Robbins, former Gunter Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, poses for a photo beside Chief Master Sgt. Rosita Goodrum, the new commandant of Gunter NCOA, after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 1, 2020, at the Gunter Noncommissioned Officer Academy on Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Alabama. There are to be a total of ten NCO academies operating across the Air Force following the reopening of Gunter NCOA and the restoration of the Paul W. Airey NCOA on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske)

Col. Kathryn Brown, Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education commander, presents a coin to Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Kertulis

Col. Kathryn Brown, Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education commander, presents a coin to Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Kertulis Oct. 1, 2020, at the Gunter Noncommissioned Officer Academy on Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Alabama. Gunter NCOA will host its first class starting Oct. 5 via the Virtual In-Residence-Remote platform, which was developed by Air University to safely and effectively resume EPME amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

The Gunter Noncommissioned Officer Academy on Maxwell-Gunter Annex reopened Oct. 1, 2020, after nearly a decade, to meet the Air Force’s increased demand for effective development of NCOs.

Gunter NCOA suspended operations in 2013, when Air Education and Training Command introduced a blended learning approach, transferring the responsibility of NCO training for the region to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, to reduce the cost of executing and sustaining enlisted professional military education.

However, in February 2019, after Hurricane Michael caused major damage to the Paul W. Airey NCOA facilities on Tyndall, the academy, along with its students and faculty, was temporarily relocated to Gunter Annex. As the Airey NCOA prepares to return to Tyndall, Gunter NCOA is now resuming operations to continue the uninterrupted education of NCOs. 

“The agility and flexibility we gain from the standup of this school provides all NCOAs with current and relevant course content,” said Chief Master Sgt. Lauren Brock, chief, EPME. “With the addition of our newest academy, EPME increases its capability to provide deliberate development of our NCOs at the right time in their careers.”

Gunter NCOA’s close proximity to the Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education makes the academy an ideal host site for new EPME initiatives and allows instructional system designers to test curriculum in real time before they are implemented throughout all Air Force NCO academies.

“This is a big deal for enlisted PME.  The reactivation of the Gunter NCOA not only expands our ability to educate and develop enlisted leaders across the Air Force, but it enhances the Barnes Center’s agility by serving as a test bed for curriculum development,” said Col. Kathryn Brown, Barnes Center commander. 

Gunter NCOA will host its first class starting Oct. 5 via the Virtual In-Residence-Remote platform, which was developed by Air University to safely and effectively resume EPME amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“VIR-R replicates the in-residence experience as much as feasibly possible with students participating in and interacting with instructors and fellow students remotely from their home stations, and upon completion, they earn in-residence credit for NCOA,” said Chief Master Sgt. Rosita Goodrum, Gunter NCOA commandant.