The Edwards Civ-Mil group held its third annual meet and greet recently where new arrivals to Edwards Air Force Base and those attending the Mojave Test Pilot School got a chance to visit with 44 vendors and learn what the Antelope Valley has to offer.
Originally, the event was organized to help the non-U.S. military families coming to work on the F-35 program from Europe, but this year the invitation was extended to all active duty military at Edwards AFB.
“When Edwards called and asked if Civ-Mil would include Americans arriving, we said ‘of course,’” said John Fergione, president of Civ-Mil. The organization exists to create a friendly association between civic leaders and military personnel at Edwards.
Guests enjoyed “Ruth” the barn owl from the Devil’s Punchbowl and got a close look at a Gopher snake and the luminosity of a scorpion, while others enjoyed crafts, robotic demonstrations and learned about 3D Printing. Families enjoyed dinner provided by the UAV at the Pioneer Event Center.
“I wish we had something like this four years ago when we arrived,” said Marlies Van de Pol from Holland. “In our pre-visit we get three days to find a house, school, doctor — everything. This is so helpful.”
Newcomers are looking for everything from haircuts to tea shops, sporting stores, car leases etc.
When the Van de Pols arrived they were looking for elementary schools, their tour extend they are looking for a high school and other activities.
Believing in the mission, Van de Pol is now involved in the meet and greet outreach.