AEDC Model Shop steps up to fulfill customer request

Air Force photograph by Holly Peterson

Michael Panarisi, retired Air Force colonel and former AEDC Commander, tours the AEDC Model and Machine Shop with his family as Model Shop staff work to complete a project for the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) Program Office. Panarisi, second from left, assisted the APKWS Program Office by recommending the Model Shop complete its time sensitive request. Pictured are Calder Smith, Michael Panarisi, Michael Panarisi Jr., and Reanna Panarisi looking at items fabricated by the AEDC Machine Shop.

The Arnold Engineering Development Complex [Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.] Model and Machine Shop recently stepped up to meet a short notice need for the war fighter by fabricating test articles critical to meeting an accelerated Air Force Test Center rapid fielding schedule.

In an effort to meet a tight execution schedule for the needed test articles, the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) Program Office requested AEDC assistance.

“AEDC has performed remarkably helping our Program expedite test asset availability needed to address an Air Force Central Command Urgent Operational Need,” said Maj. Jesse Moreno, APKWS program manager.

Michael Panarisi, retired Air Force colonel and former AEDC Commander, said he knew that the craftsmen at the Model Shop had the capability to rapidly prototype and fabricate test articles, a capability he championed while he was commander, and therefore, implemented the bridge between the APKWS Program Office and AEDC.

“If you need something built quickly, with great precision, then this is the place to come,” he said.

Tackling unexpected requests is nothing new for the Model Shop, according to David Hurst, a co-manager of the Model Shop at the time of this project.

“The AEDC Model Shop staff including machinists, planners, schedulers and supervisors do an outstanding job adapting to an ever changing work environment,” he said. “We were excited that Mr. Panarisi remembered our capabilities and quality of work and recommended the Model Shop for this project. This is not atypical of the type of requests we get on almost a daily basis and the Model Shop employees are always willing to do what is necessary to accomplish the seemingly impossible task.”