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412th Mission Support Group hosts Combat Dining-In for 412th Test Wing May 15, 2023

The 412th Mission Support Group hosted a combat dining-in at Edwards AFB, California, May 4, 2023.

In an effort to bring Airmen together and build camaraderie, the combat dine-in encouraged Airmen to dress in altered duty uniforms and participate in competitive team events.

"This offers a great opportunity to increase camaraderie and esprit de corps by having some fun as a group while adhering to some Air Force traditions," Col. Jarod Blecher, Commander, 412th MSG said. "It brings together a diverse group of people and offers plenty of opportunity to meet someone new."

A combat dining-in is a military tradition that enhances esprit de corps of a unit and enables Airmen of all ranks to create a bond in a simulated wartime. The 412 MSG consisting of the 412th Communications Squadron, 412th Security Forces Squadron, 412th Logistics Readiness Squadron and 412th Force Support Squadron enjoyed a water fight, an obstacle course, a costume contest, a tug-of-war and the main attraction: the grog bowl.

Blecher played the role of the president during the event. This allowed him to informally engage with the Airmen while maintaining a leadership position. Additionally, Blecher was responsible for enforcing the event's unique rules and dealing out the fate of having to take a drink out of the grog bowl, which traditionally is a mixed bowl of varying ingredients

Commanders and senior enlisted leaders were in attendance during the festivities, as well, to encourage an atmosphere of teamwork, good fellowship and social rapport.

"The mission can't happen without mission support," Chief Master Sgt. Jeremy Swistak, Senior Enlisted Leader, 412th MSG said. "Nothing can happen without our support. So, to see us all coming together to fellowship and to celebrate our mission was a wonderful thing to see."

From basic training and throughout an Airman’s career, it is instilled that the mission comes first. This event gave Edwards AFB Airmen the opportunity to take an afternoon and play hard together.

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.