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Air Force Chief of Chaplains visits Edwards AFB

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing

Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Steven Schaick, Chief of Chaplains, Department of the Air Force, and his Religious Affairs Senior Advisor, Chief Master Sgt. Natalie Gray, visited Edwards Air Force Base, California, Nov. 4.

Schaick and Gray received a brief on the efforts of the 412th Test Wing’s Chaplain’s Office has undertaken since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they plan to move forward utilizing their Religious Support Teams.

“You all have done a remarkable job of supporting our Airmen,” Schaick said. “Please keep looking at ways to provide for and help our Airmen and their families.”

Schaick was told about the how the Wing’s Chaplains have continued to provide services for base Airmen to include virtual events such as church services.

Schaick and Gray also met with the 412th Security Forces Squadron and thanked them for their perseverance and determination both at the onset of the pandemic and now. He reinforced the importance of social connectedness during an unprecedented time in the nation.

“Airmen might feel more alone now than ever before,” he said. “But you need to know that you are not, we are here for you. Please reach out.”

The pair also met with maintainers on the flight line and members of the base’s Blue Eagles Honor Guard team. During their short visit, Schaick wanted to personally thank the uniformed and civilian Airmen of the base who have continued to keep the mission going.

During their visit to the Honor Guard team, Schaick said that their countless hours of practicing is not overlooked. He said that their level or professionalism is not lost on servicemember’s families. He also advised the Honor Guard members, due to their high-stress duties and operational tempo, to “keep an eye out for each other.”

Gray re-emphasized Schaick’s words by stressing that connectedness happens at all levels and that being socially connected to one another could be a life-saver. She explained that by being connected with each other on a more personal level, Airmen should be able to tell if something is wrong with their fellow Airmen.

“Everyone should be comfortable enough to ask someone, ‘how are you doing?’” Gray said. “If something doesn’t seem right with your wingman, don’t be afraid to be ‘appropriately’ nosey.”

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.