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Realty course answers 'why?' of real property decisions

34 real property specialists from across the Air Force completed the Advanced Realty Course in San Antonio, TX on June 22, 2012.  (USAF Photo/Armando Perez)

34 real property specialists from across the Air Force completed the Advanced Realty Course in San Antonio, TX on June 22, 2012. (USAF Photo/Armando Perez)

Mr. Bobby Roberts, Air Force Real Estate Subject Matter Expert, discusses course materials with one of many real property specialists from across the Air Force whom  completed the Advanced Realty Course in San Antonio, TX on June 19-22, 2012.  (USAF Photo/Armando Perez)

Mr. Bobby Roberts, Air Force Real Estate Subject Matter Expert, discusses course materials with one of many real property specialists from across the Air Force whom completed the Advanced Realty Course in San Antonio, TX on June 19-22, 2012. (USAF Photo/Armando Perez)

San Antonio, Texas -- On paper, it may sound as dry as unbuttered toast: four days in a small hotel conference room in San Antonio listening to people talk about leases, outgrants, and other real property transactions.

But for the 34 real property specialists who completed the Advanced Realty Course in San Antonio on June 22, a five-day exploration into real property intricacies was a combination of upper level college course work and a real estate fantasy camp. 
"The best part of the training was the knowledge gained - a lot was presented that we were unaware of," said Michael Merkel, a realty specialist from Eglin AFB, Fla. "We're always looking for a way to improve processes and find out things you're not implementing and this class was a way to better find information.

"The ARC is a week-long program during which experienced Air Force installation realty specialists receive career-broadening training in all aspects of real property transactions. AFRPA's Real Estate Transactions division staff teaches the course work on subjects ranging from the United States codes that guide real property transactions, to approval processes, acquisitions, management, disposals, in-grants and out-grants, and more.
"This is where they learn why they do what they do," said Bobby Roberts, a real property officer with the Air Force Real Property Agency and chief architect of the training. "When they know the 'why,' they can make the right decisions, and they can make those decisions time and time again."

For many participants, the ARC instruction comes at a critical time. Shifting mission requirements, the Air Force's on-going pursuit of improved efficiency, and shrinking defense budgets means real property professionals must develop a "business mindset" to navigate the challenges they face. 

"This training will help with future real property actions," said Buckley AFB, Colo., real property specialist Lisa Caldwell. "With everything going on with the economy and budgets, it's important to use the proper transactions."
ARC attendees were nominated by major commands (MAJCOMs) and selected by RET to fill the classroom slots. Twelve MAJCOMs were represented from across the United States, Europe and South Korea. AFRPA funds each participant's attendance to the course, an indicator of the agency's commitment to training the next generation of real property leaders. 

The graduates of the 2012 AFRPA Advanced Realty Course are:
Kurt Anderson, Goodfellow AFB, Texas; Terri Bood, Holloman AFB, N.M.; Danna Bullington, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; Lisa Caldwell, Buckley AFB, Colo.; Peter Crary, Air Force Real Property Agency/Langley AFB, VA; Dennis Duke, Air Force Real Property Agency/Randolph AFB, TX; Jerome Francis, Air National Guard; Katayoon Ghanbari, Peterson AFB, Colo.; Michael Graham, Air Force Real Property Agency/Langley AFB, VA; Elisabeth Hubo, Spangdahlem AB, Germany; Arzu Kaya, Izmir ABS, Turkey; Deb Kehrer, Scott AFB, Ill.; Stephanie Kendrick, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska; Glenn Leonard, Air Force Real Property Agency, Hurlburt Field, FL; Heather Lindahl, Air National Guard; Pedro Matos, Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Colo.; Robert Matthias, Schriever AFB, Colo.; Sheri McNamara, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.; Rosemarie McReynolds, Dover AFB, Del.; Michael Merkel, Eglin AFB, Fla.; William Mullen, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; Anthony Ortiz, Beale AFB, Calif.; Michael Pangelinan, Luke AFB, Ariz.; Tonda Sallee, Air Force Real Property Agency; Heidi Smith, Air Force Real Property Agency/Langley AFB, VA; LaKenya Smith, Air Force Real Property Agency; William Stoeckel, Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla.; Mitzi Sturdevant, Altus AFB, Okla.; Danny Taylor, Fairchild AFB, Wash.; John Tipton, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.; Taylor Walton, Minot AFB, N.D.; Brian Wild, Offutt AFB, Neb.; Kyonghui Yi, Osan AB, South Korea.
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