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Testing center opens at Camp Bucca

by Capt. Christopher Moore
386th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs

11/30/2007 - CAMP BUCCA, Iraq (AFPN) -- Air Force security forces members here will now be able to redeploy home with their career development courses completed as base officials opened a new testing center.

With many Airmen arriving for duty in the middle of upgrade training, Air Force leadership at Camp Bucca decided a testing center was needed to ensure security forces members completed their CDCs before heading back to their home stations.

Camp Bucca has the largest concentration of security forces Airmen in Iraq. 

"Our goal is for Airmen to finish their CDCs here so they can concentrate on reuniting with their families when they get home," said Chief Master Sgt. Bob Kalinowski, the 586th Air Expeditionary Group superintendent. "It took a lot of work to establish a testing center here, but it's definitely worth the effort."

Before the center opened, a testing control officer from another deployed base would spend a day traveling to Camp Bucca, test Airmen for a few days then spend a day traveling back. This meant Camp Bucca's Airmen only had the opportunity to test once a month.

"That really didn't make a whole lot of sense," said Master Sgt. Reidus Stokes, Camp Bucca's new full-time education and training manager. "They brought me in to set up a proper testing center so our Airmen here had more options available to them."

In the first week, Sergeant Stokes proctored 62 CDC tests. Airmen can now test from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. four days a week.

"With Airmen here working a minimum of six days a week, 12 hours a day, we had to give them more flexibility," Sergeant Stokes said. "They deserve the best."

In addition to CDC tests, Sergeant Stokes can now administer Air Force professional military education tests and proctor college exams. Plans are in the works to offer College Level Examination Program and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education exams for the Airmen, Sailors and Marines at Camp Bucca.

"We owe it to our people," Chief Kalinowski said. "We deploy them for six months at a time into a combat zone. It's the least we can do to help them better themselves." 

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