AFMC Command News

AFMC Civic Leader trip gives insight to missions, supports partnerships

  • Published
  • By Zion Dillahunt
  • Air Force Materiel Command

Fourteen Air Force Materiel Command civic leaders joined AFMC Commander, Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, on a visit to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona and Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico Nov. 6- 10, where they learned about key missions across the enterprise.

The trip was an opportunity to highlight AFMC missions and establish a deeper connection with senior military leaders, empowering the civic leaders with a bigger picture of the Air Force.

AFMC Civic Leaders are community-driven leaders who aid the Air Force mission in each of their respective communities by collaborating with installation leaders and government officials on issues ranging from childcare, education, health care and housing to spouse employment, as well as other mission related activities.

Richardson welcomed the group and provided the strategic context for the visit.

“The threat we face today is real, and we have rightfully shifted our efforts to our strategic competitor—the People’s Republic of China,” Richardson said. “The Secretary’s Operational Imperatives provide the roadmap for the future and outline where we are going to take risk.”

“We’ve got to change the Air Force; we can’t keep flying the old systems and we must modernize,” he continued.  “AFMC is staying focused this challenge through our strategic plan, which will focus on better integrating the work of the centers by creating enterprise solutions within and across the centers.”

AFMC will focus on strengthening the team to build full potential Airmen through expanding the talent pool and reducing barriers. The command’s strategic plan will emphasize digital materiel management and will improve the culture by amplifying connections with the warfighter. The civic leader members saw some of the command’s efforts in action during the trip.

At Davis-Monthan AFB, the group was escorted by Col. Neil O. Aurelio, commander of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group.  He explained their mission to deliver safe and compliant maintenance repair, as well as how they provide logistics, storage and support services to their customers.

Aurelio showed the group America’s National-Level Air Power Reservoir, which he oversees.  It serves as an aircraft storage unit where nearly 3,200 aircraft reside. Aircraft stored here can be called back into action at any time. In addition, the group visited several other locations where aircraft maintenance occurs.

The next portion of the trip was spent at Kirtland AFB, where civic leaders received multiple mission briefings about key AFMC units, including two of the command’s six centers and other mission partners.

During the visit to the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, they received a mission briefing and learned of upcoming modernization efforts.

Another stop the civic leaders made was at the Historic Trestle, the largest all-wooden structure in the world. It was utilized from 1981-2005 for testing the impacts of electromagnetic pulses on aircraft and is now being considered as a National Historic Landmark.

The group also had the opportunity to learn more about Air Force Research Laboratory efforts in developing the latest high-power electromagnetic and laser weapons technology, and space vehicle assets. The civic leaders saw the Tactical High Power Operational Responder, which is utilized to assist with base defense by using high power microwaves to disable drones.

They also visited the Navigation Technology Satellite Integration Lab, where they learned about one of the Air Force’s Vanguard programs, the NTS-III. This is the next generation of the Global Positioning System designed to be a more robust, flexible and resilient technology.

To conclude the trip, the group visited AFRL’s Starfire Optical Range, which conducts research on optical sensing and laser-beacon adaptive optics, among other things, to improve space domain awareness. During the time there, the group was given a laser demonstration from the range’s 3.5-meter telescope that can distinguish basketball sized objects 1,000 miles into space.

Richardson concluded the trip with a thank you to the civic leaders.

“What we do is not easy. We can’t do this without you and the communities you all come from,” said Richardson.

The trip provided a memorable experience for everyone and demonstrated AFMC’s involvement in a variety of integral missions.

“Being a civic leader for AFMC is an honor,” said Jeff Hoagland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dayton Development Coalition, and also an AFMC Civic Leader on the visit. “Coming to these other bases opens our eyes to the bigger picture. These trips are educational, and it allows me to do my job to educate the community, congressional members and state legislators to understand of the importance of the Air Force.”