RAF Mildenhall Airmen Participate in Leadership Connect

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Katie Mullikin
  • 100 ARW PA

ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England – The Leadership Connect program continues its second year of leadership development on Nov. 18, 2022, at Banham Zoological Gardens, England.

Leadership Connect is a leadership development program designed to bring together a variety of respected community leaders from East Anglia with outstanding United States Air Force Leaders from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall, and RAF Alconbury to share their experiences and expand their leadership skills.

The program this year consists of 21 members from various career fields including USAF commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, their civilian equivalency, Royal Air Force, Norfolk Constabulary and His Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service, so that class members can develop and learn from within the group in addition to their interactions from external organizations.

“It’s to get [Air Force leaders] out to non-Department of Defense organizations to tap into totally different leadership styles and techniques,” said Sal Davidson, Chief Community Relations Adviser and a Course Director for Leadership Connect.

Leadership Connect focuses on building connections between the program attendees and community leaders to enhance community relations through interaction and strengthening professional bonds at a local level.

Leadership Connect is a program that partners with businesses and non-profit organizations to ensure the attendees are shown a contrasting range of perspectives that will benefit leadership techniques and solutions from a non-Department of Defense perspective.

“Seeing how our hosts deploy those principles in very different situations, I think, really helps us learn how to be creative as leaders,” said Lt. Col. Dan Piper, 100th Operations Group deputy commander. “How to approach different problem sets, how to take different principles of what they are doing in those organizations and use those to feed into our own organization and make them better.”

The program consists of a monthly visit to different locations, from September through April, that each member is expected to attend unless they are on a temporary duty or have a last-minute emergency.

Leadership Connect will welcome the non-military hosts to tour RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall as part of the Leadership Connect graduation ceremony held in May. This invitation is extended to bridge the understanding of the purpose of the USAF mission in the UK.

Programs like Leadership Connect help strengthen the international partnership between the USAF and the United Kingdom host nation while also developing the leadership skills needed to guide the Airmen they lead.