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A Journey to Inspire: 412th Operations Group travels to Bakersfield to inspire a new generation

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

Hosted by the 412th Operations Group representing Edwards Air Force Base, a group from Team Edwards traveled on a C-12 Huron to the California Aeronautical University Aviation Career Day in Bakersfield, California, Feb 3. At CAU, hundreds of local area students got the chance to experience being a test pilot and flight test engineer with an inspiration through aviation from the team.

"This is their career fair," Jessica Peterson, Technical Director, 412th Operations Group explained. "Around 700 students came through, mainly high school students, that wanted to learn about aviation and the opportunities in aviation. They came to learn more about CAU and local aviation opportunities including ours."

With the inspiration from Team Edwards, students got to experience being a test pilot and a flight test engineer. Using a virtual reality system, students could also execute traditional flight test maneuvers and control room operations.

During the Aviation Career Day, students got the chance to fly a simulator fighter aircraft and practice monitoring aircraft speed, altitude, and maneuverability. Instruction with one-on-one training was provided by the 412th Operations Group; a combination of U.S. Air Force military and civilian test pilots and engineers.

"This career day is a great outreach tool," Capt. Benjamin "Vader" Kram, 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron explained. "Kids can get their hands on what we do and test out flying, kids that maybe didn't think they could fly. They could fly this flight simulator and introduce them to flying and get behind the controls of an airplane without actually going up in the sky."

Additionally, the team provided and answered questions about opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers within the U.S. Air Force.

"I know I want to be in the Air Force after I graduate," Beth from Taft Union High School said. "My dad encouraged me to go there because of his experiences traveling the world and I always thought I wanted to do that and explore the world as well."

The 412th Operations Group is the Air Force's largest Flight Test Operations Group, supporting 300 test programs on 76 aircraft of 12 different types which the Group hopes inspires future aviation enthusiasts to follow their dreams in the aviation world.

"We are so excited to meet some local kids and tell them about the opportunities at Edwards that are right here in their backyard," Peterson said.

 

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.