Ten staffers from the U.S. House of Representatives†visited Edwards Aug. 4-5 to familiarize themselves with the Edwards mission.
The staffers work for congressmen who serve on the House Armed Service and House Appropriation Committees.
The party was†given a whirlwind tour of Edwards by base leadership, exploring several†of the†numerous test missions here.†The first day of their visit included briefings at the 412th Maintenance Group, Ridley Mission Control, 412th Electronic Warfare Group and 412th Aerospace Medicine Squadron.
During that time they learned about aircraft instrumentation, squadron capabilities and toured the control room at Ridley as well as the Benefield Anechoic Chamber.
The group also received planeside briefings†at the†Joint Strike Fighter†Integrated Test Force and the 411th Flight Test Squadron (F-22 Raptor).
After that, they met with Airmen for lunch at the Joshua Tree Dining Facility.
The staffers began the second day by participating in a pre-flight brief at Test Operations in preparation for a flight aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker. During the test flight, the KC-135, known as “The Mighty War Wagon,” extended its flying boom to refuel an F-15 and an F-16 in flight. The Stratotanker is capable of pumping nearly all of internal fuel through the flying boom, its primary fuel transfer method. During this particular flight, each receiver aircraft was refueled individually, though some KC-135′s are equipped with a multipoint refueling system consisting of special pods mounted on the wingtips. Those modified KC-135s are capable of refueling two receiver aircraft at the same time.
Each staffer was given the opportunity to visit the boom pod and receive a tutorial from the boom operator, giving them an up-close look at aerial refueling.
After landing, and before departing Edwards, the staffers were given a tour of a B-52.
The Air Force schedules visits like these for congressional staffers throughout the year to help acquaint them with the Air Force mission.