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Air Force, NAS collaborate on intern programs for second year

  • Published
  • By Deidre Moon

The Department of Defense and contractor interns have once again joined together for their summer internship programs at Arnold Air Force Base.

Last year, DOD and National Aerospace Solutions, LLC (NAS), the Test Operations and Sustainment contractor for Arnold Engineering Development Complex, began collaborating on the activities organized for the interns to help provide them with a better understanding of the base, the complex’s mission and the aerospace industry.

The intern programs included events such as a speaker series at the Gossick Leadership Center featuring AEDC leadership and technical experts, and a social where the students get the chance to meet one another, network and speak with base leaders face-to-face.

“This is the second year that NAS and DOD have teamed up to enrich the overall experience for the interns supporting our AEDC mission,” said Mike Dent, chief of Technical Management for AEDC.

Shelby Ables, the coordinator for NAS engineering interns, noted a benefit of the NAS program is that the interns have the opportunity to contribute to multiple projects over the summer. For example, engineering interns get to work in different engineering functions, whether design, controls, power or testing, that are applicable to a variety of engineering degrees they could be pursuing.

“These different projects allow each individual intern to find their niche, which is what we enjoy seeing,” Ables said. “With each project, they are assigned to a specific mentor, so the interns also get to know a lot of people and areas here at the base, and get more accustomed and comfortable in various professional surroundings.”

Dent agreed that internship programs offer a real account of what the workforce is like, more so than reading a textbook or sitting behind a desk in a classroom.

“Internships are a win-win for both parties,” he said. “The interns have the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom, and this firsthand experience will help them choose a career path that is best-suited for them. The employer has the opportunity to see how the individual fits into the organization, both intellectually and motivationally.”

In addition to engineering, internships within the following career fields are available to interns in the DOD and NAS programs: acquisitions, finance, human resources, information systems and technology, project controls, and legal, among others.