An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Mission Loaded: Edwards AFB Weapons Load Crews battle for supremacy

  • Published
  • By Adam Bowles
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

The 411th Raptor AMU, 461st Lightning AMU and the 416th Falcon AMU displayed their superior weapon loading prowess in the 412th MXG 3rd Quarter Load Crew of the Quarter Competition. These weapons loading juggernauts competed for bragging rights to be named the best of the best here at Edwards Air Force Base.

"Teams from three different Mission Design Series aircraft come to showcase their ability to load our nation's ordnances: properly, the first time, every time," Col. Ahave Brown, Commander, 412th Maintenance Group explained. "This is why you can have a sense of comfort when America sleeps at night."

The crews loaded various types of munitions onto an F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-35 Lightning II and a F-22 Raptor in the fastest amount of time while being the most accurate. After the loads were completed, the team's aircraft and munitions were judged to confirm the best flight-worthiness load which would be crowned as the winner.

"Our entire job is to deliver a safe and reliable aircraft and its weapons over a target," Maj. Richard Wille, Commander, 412th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron explained. "That weapon has to work every single time. As fighter folks, we know that weapon being on target, on time, and working every single time are the most important steps you have to follow. So, this is our recurring super bowl of loading those munitions."

At the end of the competition, only one crew could take home the gold.

"This is an opportunity to allow these crews to showcase that they are the best," Maj. Wille said.

The winning crew ended up being the 411th Raptor AMU with a winning time of 21 minutes and 53 seconds. Col. Matthew Caspers, Commander, 412th Test Wing was on site to congratulate the winning team for their weapon loading prowess.

"There are people around the world sleeping comfortably, going about their business comfortably, because of what these crews do. We should never forget that," Col. Brown stated.

The winners of each quarterly competition will have the opportunity to compete for Load Crew of the Year in February of 2023.

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.