Nothing stops STINFO not even COVID-19

  • Published
  • By Lance D. Wiscamb
  • 412th Test Wing

In 1963, the Scientific and Technical Information Program came to Edwards AFB.  Now better known by its acronym of STINFO, it operates as a 412th Test Wing program led by the 812th Test Support Squadron in one of the squadron’s many support roles.  STINFO means many different things to people at Edwards depending on their role. 

Any branch of the U.S. government that works with scientific and engineering data operates a STINFO program.  At Edwards, control, review, dissemination, and disposal of DoD-managed scientific and engineering data: the STINFO program touches all phases of the testing life cycle.

Distribution Statements are the most visible area of STINFO.  Many people recognize the Distribution A markings for Public Release documents.  During telework, material still must be reviewed for release with 24 articles, presentations, etc., going through the process since March 16, 2020.

“The Security and Policy review process is a challenge; our goal is to share technical information to the maximum extent possible, while at the same time protecting the security interests of our country and the intellectual rights of our contractor team mates,” said Mr. Gary L. Wagner, Deputy Director, 412th Test Engineering Group.  “STINFO provides a straight forward and positive solution that enables this to happen.”

More controlled material receives more restrictive Distribution Statements to ensure that data does not end up in the hands of adversaries and competitors that may jeopardize our national security and U.S. military advantage.  STINFO is produced in many formats including emails.  During the current expanded telework environment testing and report writing continues with 9 Technical Reports and Test Plans being produced since March 16, 2020.

The established use of secure email for the Security and Policy review process made the switch to telework straightforward.  The review of non-Public Release materials required the adaption of new technology to the greatest extent possible.  Edwards produced over 137 Technical Reports, Test Plans, etc., and 105 Public Release items in 2019.  With the base on track to meet or exceed that number in 2020 innovation and flexibility became essential.  In person meetings while following approved practices occurs only for the most sensitive situations.

The mission of testing does not stop, and the essential aspects of STINFO to that process mean that engineers and scientists must become familiar with the program. 

Authors and Technical Editors continue to submit materials to the Defense Technical Information Center with correct Distribution Statements.  This allows for secondary distribution release from other than the controlling DoD office.

Consulting and advising on Distribution Statements, formatting, and secondary release questions continued without interruption to F-35 testing.

Established practices and new ways of doing business enable the STINFO Officer and his team to evolve as test evolves.  Working in close association with the Technical Publications office, the STINFO program continues its mission to control, review, disseminate, and dispose of scientific and engineering data created at Edwards AFB by its engineers and scientists.