Record number of Andersen Airmen enhance lives, careers for fiscal 2015

Record number of Andersen Airmen enhance lives, careers for fiscal 2015

by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson, 36 Wing Public Affairs
Andersen Air Force Base

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- There are many activities to do after a long work day. Some people play sports or work out, while others choose to relax. Many Andersen AFB Airmen, however, have dedicated their off-duty time to hit the books.

In fiscal 2015, more than 170 Airmen here graduated with associate's, bachelor's or master's degree. These accomplishments recently pushed Andersen AFB to No. 1 for education in the Pacific Air Forces region.

Cel Babauta, Andersen AFB education center chief of education and training, said a lot of quality time and effort goes into earning a degree.

"We did everything we could to support our students," Babauta said. "This is the biggest graduation for a fiscal year in Andersen's history."

Whether they are across the lectern or in front of a computer screen at home, military students utilize various resources to earn their degree while maintaining a full-time duty schedule.

"I did the majority of my classes online," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Stepp, 36th Maintenance Group quality assurance evaluator. "It was easier because of the flexibility. I had other things that made it difficult to go to classes like temporary duties and a newborn child, so online classes were the way to go."

Stepp, one of the 170 students, graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics.
"It was extremely rewarding," he said. "Education is vastly important. One day we will have to hang up our uniforms, but our education will stay with us."

While the number of graduates seems to keep climbing, Babauta said the education center stays busy.

"We hope there are even more graduates next year," he said. "It's a great thing to see people seeking higher education."

For more information, please contact the Andersen AFB base education center at 366-3710.

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