Air Force

August 23, 2013

Honorary commander says tour of BAF ‘like a movie’

Tags:
Rebecca Amber
Staff writer

Lt. Elbert Chan, 412th Electronic Warfare Group, project lead engineer, shows his group of commanders and honorary commanders photographs that demonstrate how the Benefield Anechoic Facility operates. Members of the Honorary Commanders Program were given a tour of the 412th Electronic Warfare Group facilities, which included trips to the Benefield Anechoic Facility and the Integration Facility for Flight Avionics Systems Test. The Honorary Commanders Program pairs community leaders with Air Force commanders at Edwards AFB to foster a better working relationship between Edwards and the neighboring communities. The honorary commanders are invited on base several times throughout the year to experience some of what the base has to offer. In turn, some HCCs may invite their commander to experience what the local community has to offer.

Members of the Edwards Honorary Commanders Program participated in a tour of the 412th Electronic Warfare Group facilities Aug. 16.

At the start of the tour, Abbe’ Reuter, 412th EWG deputy director, gave a briefing on electronic warfare explaining how the electromagnetic spectrum can be utilized for both protection and in an attack. The honorary commanders toured the Benefield Anechoic Facility and the Integration Facility for Flight Avionics Systems Test.

The BAF is used for modeling and simulation of various aircraft by providing a virtual open-air range prior to real flight test. The facility, which was constructed in 1987, houses a 175-ton, 80-foot diameter turntable that can rotate an aircraft 180 degrees and two 40-ton capacity hoists. The surfaces of the chamber are covered in radiation absorbent materials that keep unwanted radio frequencies out and refrain radio frequencies generated from within the BAF from leaking out.

“Basically, our job is to create a controlled environment,” said Reuter.

Brig. Gen. Michael Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, added that by testing aircraft in a controlled environment first, the Air Force is able to make the most of real flight test. Problems can be “rounded out” in the BAF, which allows for more cost-effective test.

Lt. Elbert Chan, 772nd Test Squadron, project lead engineer, served as a tour guide that day.

“I’m just trying to inform the community leaders what our mission is here at BAF and also the Air Force as a whole,” said Chan. “We want the community leaders to have insight into what we do. I feel it’s important they feel like part of our community too.”

In the IFAST facility, tour attendees were given the opportunity to fly F-16 and F-35 simulators.

Judy Cooperberg, Antelope Valley Services for Mental Health director, is honorary commander for Col. Stephen Donaldson, 412th Medical Group. Cooperberg said it was a “sharing experience” because Donaldson also hadn’t flown the F-35 simulator until that day.

“We got to experience that together and it was very bonding,” said Cooperberg. “I think the Honorary Commanders Program solidifies a collaboration between Edwards AFB personnel and the community.”

“The tour was awesome. I felt like I was in movie and I was waiting for bad guys to jump out at me,” said Cooperberg. “It was very surreal because it was a lot of the environment that you see in high suspense movies and it really got you excited.”
BAF2
Col. Kevin Muckerheide, 412th Electronic Warfare Group commander, was joined by his honorary commander, the Honorable Dick Spann, United States Superior Court judge. Muckerheide said that the Honorary Commanders Program gives the neighboring community a “better feel” for what the Edwards community does locally and at the Department of Defense level.

On the “flipside” of that, Muckerheide was invited by Spann to visit a courtroom, which Muckerheide described as an “incredible experience.”

“For those of us who live on base, we go downtown for a variety of restaurants and shopping at Walmart. The Honorary Commanders Program is a good opportunity to see a different perspective,” said Muckerheide.
Jack Connell, China Lake Alliance executive director, is a retired naval officer and pilot who spent much of his career in the test and evaluation business. He is paired with Paul Tierney, 412th Test Engineering Group civilian leader.

Connell remarked that he was impressed by how “astute and capable” the junior officers were on the tour. “They’re really on top of their game and they communicate very, very well. They really know what’s going on here and I was really impressed by that.”

“I think that when the DOD starts looking at facilities and installations that they can downsize, eliminate or maybe even build up, the relationship of the community that supports them is going to be very important,” said Connell. He said that he believes China Lake, Calif., and Edwards AFB are well supported by neighboring communities. However, other defense installations have experienced “friction” with their local communities.

“It’s really important to have the community as an ally,” said Connell.

The Honorary Commanders Program pairs community leaders with Air Force commanders at Edwards AFB to foster a better working relationship between Edwards and the neighboring communities. The honorary commanders are invited on base several times throughout the year to experience some of what the base has to offer. In turn, some HCCs may invite their commander to experience what the local community has to offer.

“Something that has not been lost on me is the fact that if I had joined the Air Force 20 years earlier in 1969, the public’s view of the military was not that great. It has struck me on numerous occasions how blessed I am to be working in the military when the public supports what we’re doing. It makes all the difference in the world. You can feel proud about what you’re doing,” said Muckerheide.

“If this kind of program in any way shape or form assists in that, it pays huge dividends. It makes those in the military feel like what they’re doing is worthwhile and those out in the civilian world better appreciate what we’re doing.”




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


 
 

 

Air Force revamps AEF

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force will deploy Agile Combat Support Airmen under its redesigned air expeditionary force construct October 1. The primary purpose of the redesign was to look at ways to deploy more ACS Airmen with their units and standardize dwell times across the Air Force as much as possible to present a...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner

C-17 treads into new territory

U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner Since Dunlop Tire was selected as the supplier for the C-17 as the replacement tire, the C-17 Global Reach Integrated Test Team at Edwards AFB has been putting the C-17’s new Dunlop tires ...
 
 
NASA Photograph

ACCESS II Confirms Jet Biofuel Burns Cleaner

NASA Photograph The DC-8’s four engines burned either JP-8 jet fuel or a 50-50 blend of JP-8 and renewable alternative fuel of hydro processed esters and fatty acids produced from camelina plant oil. Flying high above the Cal...
 

 

Bldg. 1609B demo’d

Demolition off of Wolfe Ave. was conducted to bring down Bldg. 1609B. The 18-year-old modulars have been used to support a variety of organizations and programs such as Civilian Personnel, the C-130 AMP Program and other temporary, short-term test programs. Bldg. 1609B was created as a temporary facility and today has exceeded its useful life and is therefore...
 
 
af-band

Air Force Band of the Golden West

  Travis Brass, the multi-talented brass group of the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West will be performing in the area Sept. 5-7. Sept. 5, the group will be at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, 26455 Rockwell ...
 
 

Eat right, save money on ‘Salad Wednesdays’ at Exchange restaurants

Army & Air Force Exchange Service restaurants are helping Soldiers, Airmen and their families eat healthy while saving money with “Salad Wednesdays.” Every Wednesday, guests can take $2 off any salad priced $4 or more at participating Exchange direct-operated restaurants. “Salad Wednesdays” are part of the Exchange’s Operation BEFIT initiative, designed to pro...
 




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>