AFNWC’s Trinity Flight streamlines onboarding of new hires

  • Published
  • By Aimee Malone
  • Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center has developed a new program to introduce its new military and civilian employees to the AFNWC main campus at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

“The Trinity Flight program provides new team members with the tools they need to be successful in their jobs, as well a comprehensive overview of the nuclear enterprise,” said Sheryl Lawrence, program manager, Manpower, Personnel and Workforce Development Directorate.

The first Trinity Flight was launched in July. It was developed by a 14-member team after leadership saw an opportunity to improve the in-processing system at the Kirtland location.

It is designed to address gaps in the old system, which relied heavily on a new employee and their supervisor working through a checklist, on top of the supervisor’s usual duties. The new program streamlines the process by allowing team members to complete AFNWC-wide requirements before joining their new directorate team.

“The intent is for the new team member to complete the bulk of their in-processing within the four days of the flight,” Lawrence said. “We hope the program is very beneficial to the member entering their work center, as well as to their supervisor, who is gaining a mission-ready employee in just four workdays.” Previously, it would sometimes take weeks to complete the necessary training, receive a computer and badge, etc.

The new Trinity Flight covers security orientation and training; Air Force and AFNWC training and acculturation; and equipment, such as issuing computers and common access cards.

It also includes the New Employee Unit Orientation, which is required by Air Force Materiel Command. The orientation covers AFNWC-specific topics, such as an introduction to nuclear ethos, nuclear deterrence and the center’s mission.

The Trinity Flight is typically offered during the first four days of each pay period, so that new employees may start attending on their first duty day. By the time employees graduate from the program, they should be ready to begin their directorate’s training and paperwork.

“The expectation for the flight is to educate, train and equip personnel to be mission-ready team members for their assigned AFNWC directorate,” Lawrence said.
So far, both supervisors and new employees have positively commented on the Trinity experience.

“As a supervisor, the information that is provided by the Trinity Flight program management is extremely helpful,” said Heather Abeyta, chief of workforce development, Manpower, Personnel and Workforce Development Directorate. “It directs me to exactly what I need to accomplish and when to complete the actions to prepare for the arrival of my new employee. This helps me ensure I don’t miss a key date that may be buried in my inbox or on a SharePoint page that may or may not be updated.”

However, Trinity Flight is not just days of listening to security briefings and filling out paperwork. The program breaks up the training requirements by including information about local New Mexico culture and activities, such as a visit to the nearby National Museum of Nuclear Science and History.

“We have a lot of fun, but there is also a significant amount of work that goes into getting new employees ready to enter their respective directorates,” Lawrence said.
New employees and supervisors have offered feedback on the program, saying they appreciated connecting with other newcomers and network while learning about AFNWC and completing their onboarding requirements.

“I really enjoyed the whole orientation as it was a one-stop shop for everything that we needed to accomplish as newcomers to the center,” one participant wrote in a feedback survey.

“Trinity Flight has been a huge time saver for me, and I feel better knowing that my new hire has received a great introduction to the center and has met a few teammates during the process,” Abeyta said.

Trinity Flight is mandatory for new AFNWC employees working at Kirtland Air Force Base.