Expanded BMT Starts

The first group of Air Force recruits to undergo the service’s expanded basic military training course arrived at Lackland AFB, Tex., Nov. 3. In 2006, the Air Force decided to expand BMT from 6.5 weeks to 8.5 weeks, with the extra two weeks being used to enhance and reinforce current war skills training and incorporate additional instruction like CPR. The new course replaces the instruction regimen that has been in place since the 1960s. Col. Edward Westermann, commander of Lackland’s 737th Training Group commander, said the expanded course will better prepare the recruits to meet the challenges that they will face as part of the Air Force in the future. In Fiscal 2009, the Air Force expects that some 4,000 recruits will undergo Lackland’s expanded training, bringing the yearly total to 39,000. (Lackland report by Mike Joseph)