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Commander's Log: RtFC & Memorial Day Note

Seven Hroncich, left, an instrument technician, Robert Bradford, center right, an electrician, Kevin Thompson, right, test operations engineer, Tim Mullins, an outside machinist, and others prepare for a test run in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) Arcs Test Facility Control Room, May 5, 2020, at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The Arcs Facility provides aerothermal ground test simulations of hypersonic flight over a wide range of velocities and pressure altitudes in support of materials and structures development. Team members are maintaining social distancing when possible and wearing masks when not so they can continue the critical national defense mission of AEDC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett) (This image was altered by obscuring items for security purposes.)

Seven Hroncich, left, an instrument technician, Robert Bradford, center right, an electrician, Kevin Thompson, right, test operations engineer, Tim Mullins, an outside machinist, and others prepare for a test run in the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) Arcs Test Facility Control Room, May 5, 2020, at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The Arcs Facility provides aerothermal ground test simulations of hypersonic flight over a wide range of velocities and pressure altitudes in support of materials and structures development. Team members are maintaining social distancing when possible and wearing masks when not so they can continue the critical national defense mission of AEDC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett) (This image was altered by obscuring items for security purposes.)

Rebecca Mitchell, T-7A Lead Flight Test Engineer, 416th Flight Test Squadron, watches real-time flight telemetry of a remote T-7A Red Hawk test flight from the Boeing flight test center in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Ridley Mission Control Center on Edwards Air Force Base, California, April 30. (Air Force photo by Giancarlo Casem)

Rebecca Mitchell, T-7A Lead Flight Test Engineer, 416th Flight Test Squadron, watches real-time flight telemetry of a remote T-7A Red Hawk test flight from the Boeing flight test center in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Ridley Mission Control Center on Edwards Air Force Base, California, April 30. (Air Force photo by Giancarlo Casem)

The first AIM-120 “AMRAAM” shot using the first USAF Post Block F-16 utilizing the new APG-83 AESA radar shot by Maj. Joseph “Rocket” Schenkel over the gulf near Eglin AFB, FL.

The first AIM-120 “AMRAAM” shot using the first USAF Post Block F-16 utilizing the new APG-83 AESA radar shot by Maj. Joseph “Rocket” Schenkel over the gulf near Eglin AFB, FL. The installation of Operational Flight Program (OFP) M-series 7.2+ fielded several major capability upgrades to more than 600 Block 40/42/50/52 aircraft. (courtesy photo)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Test Center Family,

It’s hard to believe how much our world has changed in a few short months.  The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered our daily routines and affected every one of us, personally and professionally.  In the turmoil since March, one of the few things I’ve known for certain is that AFTC would stand up to this threat the way we always have, by leading our Air Force as we forge our Nation’s sword and shield.

As Memorial Day approaches, we’re beginning to emerge from our foxholes across AFTC and I want to commend you for remaining focused on the mission while collectively helping America “flatten the curve”.  You have continued to develop and test our Nation’s highest priority capabilities while supporting dozens of mission partners at our installations.  You have asked the difficult questions to balance mission execution with health risk, and have found opportunities to innovate where we never imagined.  Most importantly, you have looked out for each other in the tradition of Air Force Wingmen.  You continue to perform admirably, and I’m tremendously proud of you!

As we begin the next phase of our pandemic response—Return to Full Capacity (RtFC)—I know you’ll leverage the pioneering spirit of our community to move into a “new normal” that is only beginning to reveal itself.  I offer that YOU will be instrumental in shaping that new normal, and I encourage you to stay focused on AFTC’s Enduring Principles as you blaze this new trail.

Whether you’re serving from home, your traditional work location, or some combination of the two, please continue to combat the COVID-19 virus.  If you are sick, don’t go to work.  Seek medical attention if necessary.  At work, practice physical distancing and wear your personal protective equipment, including appropriate facial coverings.  As always, personal hygiene is one of your best defenses against illness, and I ask you to join me in developing new habits for keeping our work areas regularly sanitized.  Your supervisors can elaborate on COVID-19 risk mitigation specific to your work center.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I’m sure many of you will be eager to get out and enjoy our beautiful country.  Please do so carefully and remain compliant with local directives.  Refocus on safety as restrictions are lifted in parallel with the increased risk of many popular recreational activities.  We need you and your families healthy and safe as we enter a new American era.

While this weekend is an opportunity to develop productive habits in the “new normal”, I also encourage you to celebrate our cherished traditions—among them, that countless American Service members have sacrificed greatly to preserve our freedom.  Our adversaries have been watching us these last few months, and I’m sure they’re disappointed that America has once again demonstrated unmatched strength, innovation, and perseverance, attributes which know no generational boundaries.

Thank you for your tireless Warrior spirit.  Jennifer joins me in wishing you and your families a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

As always, it’s an honor to serve with you!

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CHRISTOPHER P. AZZANO, Major General, USAF

Commander