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Civil Air Patrol and U.S. Naval Sea Cadets get an inside look at interservice partnerships on Edwards AFB March 21, 2023

Civil Air Patrol and United States Naval Sea Cadets from California receive an up close and personal look at interservice flight operations during a tour of Edwards Air Force Base hosted by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) Detachment 5, March 17.

"As the military struggles with meeting out recruiting goals, we have an obligation to assist," Col. Keith J. Butler, Commander of Detachment 5, AFOTEC explained. "Opening the minds of Civil Air Patrol and Naval Sea Cadets to what the military life can offer is one way of helping address the shortfall by creating interest in service to country. Enabling opportunities for youth programs and generating their interest in the various missions at Edwards AFB fosters a growing connection between off-base community programs and the installation."

The Edwards AFB tour included base housing, AFOTEC Det. 5 headquarters, the Air Force Flight Test Museum, the Benefield Anechoic Facility and an up close and personal look at a Navy VX-9 F-35C. The F-35 visit highlighted how the Air Force and Navy work shoulder-to-shoulder for the flight test mission.

"Like many cadets in Civil Air Patrol and Naval Sea Cadets, one of my favorite parts of the program is experiencing and learning about the military and it's lifestyles," David Butler, Civil Air Patrol cadet said. "Getting to tour Edwards AFB gave us new insight about unique parts of the Air Force and Navy; broadening our perspectives of the STEM world in the military."

For AFOTEC Det. 5, building strong community relations between the military and its potential future leaders is crucial for the growth and success of the U.S. Air Force.

"By fostering positive relationships with local communities, we can create a supportive and collaborative environment that empowers the next generation of leaders and show our military members and partners the impact their contributions have," Tech. Sgt. Kyle M. Hernandez, Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge, AFOTEC Det. 5 explained. "Investing in our youth is an investment in our military communities and collective future."

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.