AFOTEC hosts Academy Cadet Summer Research Program for third year

  • Published
  • By Katherine C. Gandara
  • Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Chief of Public Affairs
The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center is hosting the U.S. Air Force Academy's Cadet Summer Research Program for a third year at AFOTEC locations in California, Florida, Nevada, and Texas. Cadets work on real-world Air Force projects for three- and five-week sessions starting in June.

"Cadets work as members of test teams and gain exposure to operational testing processes, products, and experiences while accomplishing important tasks as full-fledged members of our operational test and evaluation teams," said Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Sargeant, AFOTEC Commander. "The cadets participate in our testing of major Air Force weapon systems and enhance our test teams' test design, execution, and analysis by conducting in-depth research to solve complex problems. Their research products have actually made a significant contribution to our work ensuring Airmen receive the warfighting capabilities they need in a timely manner"

The USAFA Cadet Summer Research Program is a part of the AFOTEC Mentoring Program, which is a joint effort between AFOTEC and the Academy that coordinates common tasks, responsibilities, and requirements in various collaborative activities. The program leverages AFOTEC experience in operations, acquisitions, and test to create a comprehensive mentoring program to assist USAFA cadets during their academic and professional development.

"These kinds of programs enable future U.S. Air Force leaders to enter active duty with a better understanding and awareness of how the knowledge and skill they gain at the Academy will allow them to make a positive impact on delivering capabilities expeditiously, to allow our Airmen, and often our Joint and Coalition Partners, to conduct their operations more effectively and with less risk," said General Sargeant.

"Hosting detachments and program POCs will gather lessons from the summer program experience that we will use to further refine the program," said Lt. Col. Scott Hunt, Headquarters AFOTEC point of contact for the program. "We continue to refine our Mentoring Program to better assist the cadets' understanding of the responsibilities they will face as commissioned officers."

The idea for the AFOTEC Mentoring Program grew from a meeting between General Sargeant and Brig. Gen. Dana Born, USAFA's Dean of Faculty in October 2007 when they discussed ways to create opportunities to fulfill the Secretary of the Air Force's desire to increase cadet understanding of and excitement for engineering and scientific career field options to them after commissioning. The generals agreed to pursue a collaborative mentoring program involving AFOTEC personnel with Academy cadets and faculty.