JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – LACKLAND, Texas --
On June 7th, 2020, Airmen from the 23rd Intelligence Squadron organized an interactive, live training experience for the squadron’s first virtual unit training assembly (UTA). Three Airmen from the squadron used an online educational tool, as well as a video teleconferencing platform to organize a spirited 90 minute training session.
The 23 IS commander, Lt Col. Sarah Yoshida said, “There were many firsts for this virtual drill and we really had to think outside-the-box to bring everyone together while being geographically separated. I asked our team of organizers to get creative to accomplish mission training keep while keeping things fun.”
The educational tool the 23 IS used is a free online learning platform that is often used in schools and other educational institutions. It is uses quiz questions in a format that allows individuals and teams to compete with one another. However, typically the tool is used in-person in classrooms.
Tech. Sgt. Sophia Lamar, the 23 IS training flight chief said, “Usually, when this educational tool is used in classrooms, all of the students can see the quiz questions and answer choices at the same time on a projected screen. They then answer on their phones, laptops, or tablets. We had to improvise a little bit working in a virtual environment.”
Along with Lamar, 23 IS members Staff Sgt. Corey Richer and Senior Airman Craig Levine helped create the questions for each quiz game. The team created four different categories of games: intelligence, cyber security, Air Force knowledge, and foreign language knowledge. Each game consisted of multiple-choice questions that were accessed via the online learning tool’s website.
The event began on the video teleconferencing platform where Airmen were briefed on the rules by the host of the event, Staff Sgt. Richer. Richer shared his screen with everyone on the video teleconference platform, which displayed a code that the squadron participants used to enter the game. 23 IS members played from either their smart phone application or laptop’s web browser.
During game play, questions were viewed on a shared screen on the video teleconference and read by the game host. Participants then used their knowledge of the topic to pick the correct answer directly through the educational tool’s website within 20 seconds. Participants earned points not only for answering questions correctly, but also based upon how quickly they responded.
After each question, everyone playing saw the correct answer, how many people chose the wrong answers, and the top five point leaders in the game. At the end of each round, the online educational tool gave participants the opportunity to review the questions they answered incorrectly and retake the quiz.
23 IS members also used the video teleconference platform for friendly banter and bragging rights. Lamar noted, “This training event was able to bring the unit together to engage in a live virtual learning environment while making it entertaining for all.”
Lt. Col. Yoshida added, “Tech. Sgt. Lamar, Staff Sgt. Richer and Senior Airman Levine did a fantastic job organizing it. We were able to mix in training with a friendly individual and flight competition. Everyone who played had a lot of fun.”
The 23 IS delivers premiere cyber intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance expertise through Total Force Integration, driving the employment of offensive cyber capabilities in support of Combatant Command objectives and priorities. To learn more about exciting and rewarding career opportunities in the 23 IS, please contact your local Air Force Reserve recruiter or call 210-977-2671 for more information.