340th Flying Training Group Hosts Enlisted Summit
By CMSgt. Jimmie Morris, 340th Flying Training Group
/ Published August 24, 2016
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND --
Enlisted members from the 340th Flying Training Group headquarters and its seven squadrons gathered at Joint Bases San Antonio-Lackland and Randolph, Texas for the 2016 Enlisted Development Summit Aug. 4 to 6.
The event included professional development sessions where speakers shared information and insight on topics including: deployment opportunities, evaluations, bullet writing, awards and decorations, stress management, health and fitness, effective communication in conflict resolution, and more.
“This summit is a tremendous opportunity for us to invest in the development of our highly-valued Enlisted Corps,” said 340th Group Superintendent, Chief Master Sgt. Jimmie Morris.
The guest speaker for this year’s summit was MSgt. Israel Del Toro, a tactical air control party member who was severely injured by an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan. Del Toro was burned over more than 80 percent of his body, spent three months in a coma and was given less than a 20 percent chance of survival. He is the first 100 percent disabled airman to reenlist in the Air Force. Del Toro delivered an inspiring and memorable speech that emphasized service before self and teamwork.
Another highlight of the summit was a guest panel comprised of five World War II veterans. The panel of speakers included Gerald Auerbach: B-29 Bombardier, Bernall Bracken: B-26 Bombardier, Vince Losada: B-17 Bombardier, Bill Roberts: B-17 Gunner and prisoner of war and Harley Ruth: C-46 Bombardier.
“It's really great that we can brush elbows with these heroes from the greatest generation,” said Morris. "To hear them speak, to sit in the same room with them, really motivates you and charges you up to go out and honor their legacy.”
Special summit guests also included 22nd Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Clinton Ronan.
“The entire summit was phenomenal,” said Ronan. “Attending the Airman’s Coin Ceremony at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas with the enlisted men and women of the 340 FTG was a stirring experience that made me proud. I’m honored to serve with such professionals—we need more developmental opportunities like this for all of our Airmen in the 22nd Air Force.”