AFOTEC, UNM partner to launch student intern program

  • Published
  • By Katherine C. Gandara
  • Headquarters Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Chief of Public Affairs
The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center is partnering with the University of New Mexico for a student intern program aimed at recruiting and training candidates for potential future employment opportunities either within AFOTEC, the Air Force, or other government service. The program exposes selected UNM students to the Air Force and to government service while using their education and developing skills to bolster the organization's overall capability. Specifically, AFOTEC will focus on exposing students to operational testing of weapon system capabilities.

"The AFOTEC Intern Program offers a unique opportunity to infuse up-to-date- education and skills into the organization and to mentor outstanding citizens for future employment, not only with AFOTEC but also within the U.S. Government," said Maj. Gen. Stephen T. Sargeant, AFOTEC Commander. "AFOTEC has benefited from individuals' contributions from similar informal programs in the past and this prompted me to make the program more formalized and repeatable." 

The program, which started July 1, works with UNM to recruit students enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a four-year degree program particularly in the areas of math, science, or engineering. While still in the initial stages, the intent of the program is to expose participating students to government service, particularly in shortage career fields. 

"Initial contact was made with the UNM Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and the Engineering Department to discuss the intern program and AFOTEC is currently advertising available positions," said Lt. Col. Randee Kaiser, AFOTEC Director of Manpower and Personnel. "Additionally, we are refining the Memorandum of Agreement between AFOTEC and UNM regarding support for the program. We will coordinate activities with various UNM departments in order to capitalize upon opportunities to attend job fairs, distribute informational pamphlets, and actively recruit qualified students. The school year just started and we expect our publicity campaign to generate more interest." 

Participating students will be given the opportunity to work in different areas of the organization to increase their overall knowledge of AFOTEC's operational test and evaluation mission. Each student will have a daily mentor and a senior mentor to ensure their duties complement their degree tracks while allowing them to infuse their educational knowledge and skills into their respective work areas. 

Incoming interns will work primarily within AFOTEC's Intelligence, Analyses, and Assessments Directorate at its Kirtland headquarters. The program seeks students majoring in math, operations research, physics, industrial engineering and computer science, with an emphasis in modeling and simulation. Individuals with these majors will gain experience in the following areas: 

· Designing tests using mathematical software and techniques. Interns will contribute to developing more efficient test methodology based upon scientific principles. 

· Developing the mathematical approaches for reliability, availability and maintainability analysis as well as capturing a variety of testing information in software tools for wide application. 

· Refining modeling and simulation procedures. Additionally, interns would be able to contribute to improving verification, validation and accreditation procedures. 

· Improving space test procedures that combine the required engineering tests for communications, electrical power management, thermal management, and payload performance (sensor, communications, radar, weather, kinetics) with the operational testing that AFOTEC conducts. 

According to General Sargeant, "this is a synergistic program for promising University of New Mexico students to explore cutting edge research and development opportunities in the federal sector ranging from military service to federal civilian employment."