Airmen Use Coronavirus Quarantine to Shift Development Online

What started as an idea during a lunch at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., before the COVID-19 outbreak forced many Airmen to work remotely, has become a group of more than 11,000 people coming together online to learn and further their professional development.

The Facebook group “AF Quarantine University” gathers together subject matter experts from inside the Air Force, retirees, and others who provide video lectures on any topic they propose, to help Airmen learn and develop at a time when in-person interactions on base are limited.

“How might we take advantage of the current situation and continue our professional development?” the group’s description states. “This group is meant to bring people together, share best practices, and foster a commitment to lifelong learning.”

Recent presentations on the page include “Changing a Culture,” “Lifelong Learning,” “Building Hybrid Airmen,” and the “Future of Enlisted Force,” among several others. The group and the discussions sprung up on their own, without any influence from the broader Air Force.

“We are seeing local leaders find creative ways to connect with their teams,” said Senior Master Sgt. Harry Kibbe, spokesman for Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright. “It’s an example of something we’re encouraging all of our Airmen to do. We want them to find ways to stay connected, take care of each other, and use this time as an opportunity to keep growing as Airmen.”