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Airman’s Spotlight: Col. Robert Pekarek

Col. Robert Pekarek, 47th Operations Group commander, speaks on what Air Education and Training Command brings to the fight. “There has been no time in our history where AETC has not provided the Airmen and leaders we need for our Air Force and our nation,” he said. “I don’t see that changing in the future.”

Col. Robert Pekarek, 47th Operations Group commander, speaks on what Air Education and Training Command brings to the fight. “There has been no time in our history where AETC has not provided the Airmen and leaders we need for our Air Force and our nation,” he said. “I don’t see that changing in the future.”

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Many would say that some of the greatest attributions to success come from training, foundation, professionalism and motivation.

They’re cornerstones of success that Col. Robert Pekarek, 47th Operations Group commander here, believes help Air Education and Training Command day-in and day-out graduate nearly 38,000 Airmen, both enlisted and officers. The mission is to train all of the Air Force’s professional, confident, and mission-ready warriors.

“The quality of the Airmen and officers we produce now has continuously improved over time,” he said, speaking to the grade of military pilots, in which Laughlin graduates approximately 400 annually. “They’re more capable and more able to fill the role they need in the operational Air Force.”

Following the end of World War II, the newly formed U.S. Air Force faced a rapidly changing world of shifting fronts, innovating technologies and adversaries utilizing widely different tactics. In response, according to Pekarek, AETC innovates on its teachings and layers the fundamentals with real-world preparation for whatever their Airmen and then United States may face. 

“The challenges we face, from a defense and security standpoint, are increasingly complex,” Pekarek said. “We need better prepared Airmen to meet those challenges in terms of their capabilities, their knowledge, their technological capability, and forward thinking leaders with vision to meet those challenges and be successful.”

For Pekarek, it’s a kind of teaching that’s both world class and helps to build a legacy of aviation, public service, and airpower that’s stood the test of time, and will carry on for many more to come.

“There has been no time in our history where AETC has not provided the Airmen and leaders we need for our Air Force and our nation,” he said. “I don’t see that changing in the future.”