News: Stoudt to look after Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center
Story by Master Sgt. Michael Smith
MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn -As the 13th commandant of the Air National Guard’s premier center for enlisted professional military education, Chief Master Sgt. Thomas K. Stoudt now has a huge responsibility to prepare thousands of future Total Air Force leaders, said officials.
Stoudt became commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 17, 2013, in a ceremony on its campus.
“We will continue to be successful because of the superstars we have here,” said Stoudt.
Service members, family and friends watched Stoudt take the position that oversees the leadership training of more than 2,000 students through an average of 16 Noncommissioned Officer Academy and Airman Leadership School courses, annually.
The center was established in 1968 and has since trained tens of thousands of airmen.
“We have no better choice in replacing Chief Felch with the 13th Commandant than Chief Stoudt,” said Col. Timothy Cathcart, commander of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.
Stoudt succeeds Chief Master Sgt. Donald E. Felch, who retired Oct. 16 after serving as commandant since early 2011 and with 29 years in the Air Force.
Officials said Stoudt now oversees a staff of active duty Air Force, Guard and Reserve Command personnel with the overall responsibility for the Air Force’s largest EPME center, which includes both the resident and blended learning, satellite versions of instruction.
“We are going to keep putting fires in NCOs’ bellies,” said Stoudt. “We change lives here.”
Stoudt found his drive and success in the hallways of Capitol Hill, in the operations of national disasters, and in the deployments to combat zones during 30-years of military service. That includes joint duty as the Enlisted Legislative Liaison at the National Guard Bureau as well as duty as a Career Field Area Functional Manager. He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He also served as an EPME Instructor.
His service in civil engineering and civil support also makes Stoudt very knowledgeable in emergency management, including the National Guard’s support to civil authorities during disaster relief and humanitarian assistance efforts.
Stoudt most recently led TEC’s Mission Support Division and its Media and Engagement Division. There he oversaw the Center’s force management, professional development, logistics and information services as well as its state-of-the-art TV broadcast studio, Professional and Continuing Education and Public Affairs missions, among other efforts.
“He has done extraordinarily well in those positions,” said Cathcart. “He has made organizations better … he’s passionate about education.”