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January 17, 2014

Command Post personnel gain new perspective on base, mission

Col. Dan Daetz, 412th Test Wing vice commander, gives Airman 1st Class Breanna Manes and Senior Airman John Duncan a close-up tour of an F-16 cockpit as part of a newcomer and familiarization tour for Command Post personnel Jan. 8. Command Post specialists experienced a “windshield tour” so they could see unique elements of Edwards’ mission, such as Ridley Mission Control Center, the Rogers Dry Lakebed and the basic layout of the flightline.

For Command Post specialists across the Air Force who often work alongside the base wing commander, specific tasks vary from base to base, but their basic job is to help facilitate the primary base mission by communicating and collaborating with multiple agencies and providing information and direction essential to command and control operations.

To further increase the communication and collaboration amongst agencies, Command Post personnel at Edwards were treated to a thorough newcomer and familiarization tour by base leadership on Jan. 8.

“Our Command Post and Test Wing staff airmen regularly deal with situations affecting the entire installation,” said Col. Daniel Daetz, 412th Test Wing vice commander. “In particular, our Command Post personnel provide critical crisis communications – such as operational reporting about incidents on the airfield. Yet most of our young CP airmen sit in a windowless room most of the day and have never been out to our flightline or any flightline.”

According to Daetz, the goal of this tour was to give each Command Post specialist a first-hand look at the wing’s test mission and provide a tangible appreciation of the operations they support every day.

“We generally do not have a lot of personal, face-to-face interaction with other base agencies and when given the opportunity to actually meet and put a name to a face with fellow personnel we communicate with daily, it goes a long way in terms of customer service. It’s also a tremendous advantage to be able to associate areas of the flight line outside of a base map,” said Tech. Sgt. Anya Vido, 412th TW NCOIC of Command Post Training.

To kick-off the tour, personnel experienced a “windshield tour” so they could see unique elements of Edwards’ mission, such as Ridley Mission Control Center and the basic layout of the flightline. According to Daetz, the group then stopped for planeside discussions at the F-22 Combined Test Force and F-35 Integrated Test Force, followed up with a close-up tour of an F-16 cockpit. They also noted the special instrumentation that’s used during test missions at Edwards.

“After a brief stop at the lakebed, our one-of-a-kind emergency landing surface, we went up to the control tower and observed ongoing flight operations. We experienced tomorrow’s Air Force–the Air Force they will inherit–in action today,” Daetz said. “It’s healthy to get the next generation of our Air Force warriors out of their element and let them personally see the warfighting capability that they support for our nation.”




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