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.

Space Force, Air Force partner to establish new Space Test Course

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

The U.S. Air and Space Forces have partnered to create the new Space Test Course, which will instruct Guardians on test and evaluation processes, to conduct robust and methodical system testing on space-flight equipment at the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Space Force Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson and Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin signed a memorandum of agreement Feb. 23, establishing the new course.

“Ensuring our Guardians can effectively test and validate space-flight equipment is crucial to mission success and protecting the space domain for the Joint Force,” Thompson said.

This agreement marks the culmination of a multi-year effort that began in 2018 when the then Air Force Space Command stood up a test and evaluation directorate.

“The Air Force and Space Force will always be linked through our heritage,” said Allvin, a 1994 USAF Test Pilot School graduate. “This MOA represents another way our partnership will build a better combat-ready force.”

The Space Test Course was developed under the leadership of Space Force Col. Michael Hopkins, Space Force Test and Evaluation director, and Air Force Col. Sebrina Pabon, U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School Commandant, to meet the requirement for space domain-focused test and evaluation training.

“I am extremely proud of what the team has accomplished and am looking forward to the official partnership between the Air Force and Space Force for Space Test and Evaluation education and training,” said Pabon.

Guardians enrolled in the 12-month program will receive formal instruction and practical experience covering the full spectrum test and evaluation of mission systems and topics critical to the space domain, such as orbital mechanics, electromagnetic spectrum, sensor sciences and the space environment.

While the traditional Test Pilot School focuses on developmental testing, an evaluation of specification compliance and early technology maturation, the Space Force is moving to an integrated testing approach where principles of developmental testing are linked to operational testing, a form of testing that focuses on a system’s performance and usefulness in an operational environment, as well as the development of new tactics and procedures.

This integrated focus will prepare graduates to evaluate a space system’s entire life cycle and consider potential concerns and future risks a system may encounter.

With this partnership between the branches, the Space Force will enhance its ability to present the combat-ready forces required to protect U.S. space capabilities and defend the Joint Force from space-enabled attack.

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.