Local

March 29, 2013

Edwards crew chief leaves historic mark at squadron

Tags:
Jet Fabara
412th Test Wing Public Affairs

This oil painting, which is currently in the care of the 419th Flight Test Squadron, depicts a variety of Bomber Combined Test Force personnel preparing for a B-1 mission with Tech. Sgt. Chad McBunchís image in the center of the painting handing a helmet bag to a B-1 pilot. The oil painting embodies the history, unity and collaboration that countless engineers, contractors, government employees and crew chiefs, like McBunch, have provided to the Bomber Combined Test Force over the years.

Upon entering the building known as “Bomberland,” home of the 419th Flight Test Squadron and the Bomber Combined Test Force, you’ll come across a distinctive oil painting that embodies the history, unity and collaboration of the entire combined test force over the years.

A large and important part of that history and collaboration is due to the work that countless engineers, contractors, government employees and crew chiefs, like Tech. Sgt. Chad McBunch, who arrive at Edwards as first-term Airmen and leave their mark at this South Base facility.

“For someone who has been involved with operational test and the verification and validation of technical orders since 2002, I feel it’s only fitting that someone like Sergeant McBunch has been noted in flight test history through this painting for the one decade worth of B-1 upgrades that have been directly affected by his contributions,” said Master Sgt. Cade Peterson, 31st Test & Evaluation Squadron bomber flight chief.

The oil painting, which is currently in the care of the 419th FLTS, depicts a variety of BCTF personnel preparing for a B-1 mission with McBunch’s image in the center of the painting handing a helmet bag to a B-1 pilot.

According to Peterson, the unique thing about Sergeant McBunch’s tenure here is that since his arrival to Edwards as his first duty station in September 2002; he has served the entire period inside the Birk Flight Test Facility, otherwise known as South Base.

Tech. Sgt. Chad McBunch, 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron B-1 crew chief, stands in front of one of the first B-1s he worked on as a first-term Airman upon arriving at Edwards as a dedicated crew chief in 2002.

“The unique thing about ‘South Base’ is that personnel are geographically separated and isolated inside the borders of the perimeter. With this separation from ‘Main Base,’ many of the outstanding day-to-day actions may not be immediately apparent, and the opportunity to interact with other units is limited,” said Sergeant Peterson. “Sharing his story would help many to understand the contributions of personnel in the BFTF. Essentially, one of the longest- and continuously-serving NCOs at the BFTF who is now preparing to depart Edwards for a new duty station in April of this year. I think it is extremely important to the heritage of Edwards, especially for those first-term Airmen assigned as B-1 crew chiefs, that his contributions be catalogued.”

In addition to the oil painting, Sergeant McBunch’s legacy lives on with the Air Force Flight Test Museum’s acquisition of aircraft tail number 84-049A, a B-1B that served as the platform for flight test at Edwards and an aircraft that McBunch was a dedicated crew chief for. To prove his involvement with the team, Sergeant McBunch’s name remains on the aircraft as “A1C Chad McBunch.”

“Being here in an extremely unique test environment like this, you really get to see all the new software upgrades, to include the usage and capabilities of the B-1 as it transformed from a long-range nuclear deterrent into a close-support, direct-combat airframe over a decade,” said McBunch.

During Sergeant McBunch’s career at the BFTF, he has directly worked on the following B-1 upgrades:

  • B-1 Block E upgrades
  • Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition integration
  • Mixed load software integration
  • Sniper Targeting Pod
  • Cockpit and software modernization

Aside from working on these upgrades over the span of a decade, McBunch was noted at the squadron for reviewing more than 8,900 pages and removing approximately 900 specific discrepancies that they identified in just one year.

Capt. Tara Jackson, 31st TES bomber suitability flight commander, said that this was just one of the many areas that set McBunch apart in his unit.

“Sergeant McBunch’s dedication and diligence over the past 10 years will be missed by the 31st TES, especially since his expertise on bomber test programs will be difficult to replace,” said Jackson.
When asked about what advice he could impart on first term Airmen who will arrive to provide support for the B-1s future upgrades, he left with these comments:

“For those arriving here as a first term Airman, I would recommend that you seek out the challenge and take it upon yourself. It’s very easy to lay back and say it’s too difficult, too complicated or too different from a main operating base or what I’m used to. If you embrace it and go with it, you can pick up a very unique skill set and you can find the challenge to be very rewarding. I have and I am extremely thankful for it,” added McBunch.

“Most of all, it’s humbling, because you normally don’t spend more than 10 years anywhere without leaving a mark. Personally, when I was younger, I always tried to stay out of the social limelight, but it’s really interesting to stand back now and say that I did that, I was a part of that or I had a hand in every bit of it. It definitely gives you a better perspective of how what you do now impacts the mark you will leave for future generations.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
town-hall

Edwards community holds town hall meeting

Air Force photograph by Jena Romo Col. Eric Leshinksy, 412th Mission Support Group commander, addresses the audience at a town hall meeting Oct. 15 at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. The Edwards community gathered at th...
 
 
Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs The Air Force reminds us not to post information about deployment departures, locations, and on-going operations. However, even a simple photo of your family pet can reveal personal informat...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Gathering of Eagles honors 70 years of TPS

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Brig. Gen. Michael Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, offered the closing remarks for the event, reminding the audience that fundraiser is about preparing for the future. The Flight Test Hi...
 
 
commissary

Giving ‘gift of groceries’? Think Commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, Commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. “Our gift cards are versatile,” said Randy Chandler, the Defense Commi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Christian Turner

AFMC command chief visits with Edwards Airmen

Air Force photograph by Christian Turner Chief Master Sgt. Michael J. Warner, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, speaks to enlisted Airmen at Club Muroc Oct. 15. Warner held two enlisted calls speaking to junior Airmen i...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>