Pacific Paladin returns with renewed focus

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Eric Flores
  • Pacific Air Forces

Senior noncommissioned officers from across Pacific Air Forces gathered for Pacific Paladin, a leadership training event, on Monday, June 10, 2024, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Chief Master Sgt. Katie McCool, PACAF command chief, hosted this iteration of the event, which aims to equip SNCOs with essential tools for mentorship and growth.

"Pacific Paladin is a quarterly professional development seminar," said Master Sgt. William Harkins, the event's action officer. "There is a heavy emphasis on developing SNCOs so that they can, develop their NCOs, Airmen and company grade officers as well."

This iteration also incorporated the newly introduced PACAF SNCO Leadership Course which began directly after Pacific Paladin. The course focuses on expanding SNCO development beyond what they learn at Pacific Paladin and is scheduled for June 10-14. "Each command chief across PACAF nominated one SNCO to attend,” said Harkins. “They started with Pacific Paladin and continued with a week of discussions, panels and workshops." 

The seminar featured three key speakers who delved into various Air Force topics including financial processes, strategic initiatives and the importance of balancing professional and personal responsibilities. "We aimed for a balanced approach, covering personnel topics, mission focus and Air Force processes," said Harkins.

Chief Master Sgt. McCool, in her opening remarks, emphasized the importance of continuous professional development. "Our goal is to ensure that our senior leaders are well-prepared to lead and mentor the next generation of Air Force personnel. Pacific Paladin is a cornerstone of that effort," she stated.

The event accommodated 85 in-person attendees, with SNCOs across all PACAF wings tuning in virtually via Zoom. "We had 185 virtual attendees, ensuring widespread participation across the command," Harkins noted.

The seminar fostered professional growth and development within PACAF, ensuring that its senior leaders are well-prepared to lead and mentor the next generation of PACAF Airmen as they continue to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.