New sanitation procedures take effect at Ridley Mission Control

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

New expanded sanitation procedures were initiated recently at Edwards Air Force Base, California, to stem the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the 412th Test Wing remains mission capable.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 412th Test Wing Commander, Col. Matthew Higer, and 412th Test Wing Technical Director, Daniel Osburn, both received a first-hand “walk-through” of the expanded sanitization procedures being implemented at the Ridley Mission Control Center on Edwards.

Ridley Mission Control Center (RMCC) serves as a data nexus hub between flight crews in the air and flight test engineers on the ground. Real-time flight data from aircraft can be sent directly to engineers at Ridley, where they monitor multiple facets of a test flight.

"The eyes-on tour was an important first step to the 412th Test Wing leadership to demonstrate that Airmen’s health concerns are being appropriately prioritized before test execution. The new sanitization procedures are designed to mitigate the health risk to Team Edwards personnel as the Wing seeks to ramp up strategically important test and evaluation (T&E) flight operations later in the week supporting our Warfighter needs," Osburn said.

The new procedures actually begin during the pre-flight briefings held at the combined test force (CTF) level by self-identifying individual health risks prior to arriving at RMCC. Each CTF will administer health screening questionnaires, assuring individual safe health status, Osburn explained.

Increased vigilance through strict hygiene practices and disciplined social distancing will be emphasized with additional sign postings within RMCC. In addition, the Range Team will be sanitizing Mission Control Rooms (MCRs) with pre-mission work area disinfecting procedures which include headsets, keyboards and common test touchpoints. During mission operations, a disciplined seating plan will be followed to support social distancing. Post-Mission sanitization of the MCRs will also be completed in between missions to maximize Health and Safety to the workforce in preparation for follow-on missions at RMCC.

After the tour, Higer and Osburn both expressed confidence that these added procedures will ensure that Edwards will remain mission capable and ready.

“The 412th Test Wing is well-postured to continue to execute world-class risk management with our Airmen at the forefront of T&E missions for Warfighters around the world,” Higer said.