Progress Report

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley last week toured the basic expeditionary airman skills and training complex at Lackland AFB, Tex., and presided over the latest basic military training graduation. “This is the first-year anniversary of the extension of BMT from 6.5 to 8.5 weeks,” Donley told the fresh crop of graduates Jan. 8. He said those extra two weeks, which were added to incorporate instruction in skills to better prepare airmen for the current fights in Afghanistan and Iraq, are making their mark. “I think it has succeeded,” he said of the extension. But the service needs to continue ensuring that this training stays relevant to current threats, such as dealing with improvised explosive devices, he said. “This is exactly the type of training we need to give our airmen from the very beginning,” he said. (Lackland report by MSgt. Ben Gonzales)