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 July 25, 2014

Focus group Here’s your chance to be heard. The Edwards Commissary is looking for volunteers to participate in a group discussion about your Commissary. They will be conducting focus groups July 29 from noon to 2 p.m. and again from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. If you would like to participate, send an e-mail to...
 
 
aafes-school

Exchange moves to the head of the class with extra back-to-school savings

With the first bell about to ring on a new school year, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is giving lessons in savings. The Exchange is helping military shoppers make the grade with competitive prices and tax savings on...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Kenji Thuloweit

Major wins major bucks on ‘Price Is Right’

Air Force photograph by Kenji Thuloweit Maj. Kevin Van Stone, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 5, and his wife, Melinda (right), speak to a representative from CBS after being handed a giant check for...
 

 
NASA photograph by Tom Tschida

NASA Armstrong Support Center receives LEED platinum certification

NASA photograph by Tom Tschida Large expanses of windows and curved rooflines highlight NASA Armstrong’s new Facilities Support Center. The 38,000-square-foot structure has been certified that it met the Leadership in Ene...
 
 

Exchange shoppers can keep on ticking with Hello Kitty sweepstakes

Military shoppers can keep time with Hello Kitty thanks to the latest sweepstakes from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. Twenty-five winners will take home a Hello Kitty watch, valued at $85. From July 25 to Aug. 22, Exchange shoppers can enter to win by emailing patriotfamily@aafes.com and putting “Hello Kitty Sweepstakes” in the...
 
 

Leadership Lessons: Who would you follow?

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D.†-†Over the last year I have enjoyed reading articles from our wing leadership on their perspectives and experiences which have made them better leaders. I have great admiration for their words of wisdom and have benefited from their shared experiences. When I was asked to write a leadership piece 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>