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Our Nation Still Needs You To Compete

An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies in the skies above Edwards Air Force Base, California, April 1. The jet conducted a flight test sortie with other jets from its sister squadrons. (Air Force photo by Kyle Brazier)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon flies in the skies above Edwards Air Force Base, California, April 1. The jet conducted a flight test sortie with other jets from its sister squadrons. (Air Force photo by Kyle Brazier)

Edwards Air Force Base --

Team Edwards,

As of Monday 20 April 2020, it is precisely 75 days since I began my service to you, the AV community, the Air Force, and The Nation as the 412 Test Wing Commander.  I am as surprised as anyone where we find ourselves as individuals, families, a community, a service, and a Nation a short 2½ months later; but here we are… and the message I need you to hear today is virtually identical to the message I delivered from the podium on the stage in Building 1600 the morning of 5 February 2020.  That message follows below my signature block, lightly edited.

Our Nation *still* needs you to COMPETE! … and now more than ever before in our lifetimes. 

The strategic, operational, and tactical landscapes have shifted since early February 2020 – dramatically – and opened up a new front line in our multi-front combat operations.  I use words precisely: *Combat*   *Operations

T-Cot-A-TU is engaged simultaneously in four fights; all of them no-fail missions with the potential for existential implications:

  • COVID-19
  • Cyber
  • Full Spectrum Readiness
  • Modernization  

I remain confident we have what it takes to prevail in these vital missions.  Core to our collective psyche is the fundamental truth that has propelled generations of our T-Cot-A-TU predecessors toward the unexplored, making the unknown known, and breaking barriers.  That fundamental truth is this: we use STEM as a major weapon in our T-Cot-A-TU arsenal as we COMPETE! with all adversaries – including COVID-19 – in ways never before imagined.

Our Nation has never needed us more and I am beyond description excited to be your biggest fan and supporter. 

Respectfully, 

MATTHEW W. HIGER, Colonel, USAF
Commander, 412th Test Wing (AFMC)