T&E days is a chance to showcase our efforts

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- One of the highlights of the year for the Air Force test community is upon us. Test and Evaluation Days (T&E Days as it is usually called) is a week away. This premier event is our once-a-year opportunity to meet and network with the full spectrum of USAF T&E. We have a unique challenge this year ... as the "hosts" all eyes are on us, and I'm thrilled we'll get a chance to showcase your efforts here at AEDC. At the same time, we'll hear briefings and participate in forums from our colleagues across the country. This is our time to shine, and I'd like to emphasize a few things to guide our actions in this critical event.

T&E Days coordination team: I can't thank you enough for the countless hours you have devoted to making this event the best T&E Days ever. Your efforts will pay huge dividends in the years to come. I know you have put our best forward, and I'll do all I can to amplify your hard work.

Briefers: Your audience is likely broader than you think. Focus your messages on how our work can benefit the rest of the community. If there are clear developmental test messages that must be communicated with the flight test community ... say it! Same goes for lessons learned. Many of the "lessons learned" from our ground tests directly apply to ranges, operational testers or even system operators. Keep that in mind. It's tempting to focus on the technical aspects of our work. Please avoid that trap and think how other consumers of our results might benefit from roads we've already paved.

Attendees (this goes for briefers as well):Attend presentations that are a little outside of your "comfort zone." For instance, the operational testers may have some techniques that could have a significant impact to our operations. How do they cut waste? How do they apportion their utilities? How do they balance a declining customer base? We live in a time of unprecedented ability to share information, and that's what this event is all about. The best ideas may come from an area completely foreign to you. I challenge our community to go to at least two briefings that you would normally not attend. I'm confident we can get some ideas that will make some positive impacts to the way we do business, and I KNOW we have plenty to share with our colleagues. This is no time to be shy.

"Rookies": If this is your first T&E days, get the lay of the land. If this is your first "conference" get ready for a GREAT sip from the firehose! If you walk away with the basics of how we do test, or even just some of the "vocabulary" you've made a good start. The more quickly you can "learn the lingo" the more quickly you can have an impact and begin to improve our system. We need your "outsider's perspective." Be open minded, visit booths, talk to other CGO's and even FGO's, and try to glean what their perspective of Arnold and how we fit in the T&E community. Take LOTS of cards, and leave even more behind. This is your chance to cast a very wide net and discover "who's who" in T&E. Be one!

For those not attending, you aren't off the hook! Plenty of great work to continue here, plus we're bringing a number of the attendees here to showcase our unique capabilities. This will be your time to shine. Please keep in mind this tour group will include some "heavy hitters" from across USAF T&E. It's up to you to put Team AEDC on the map in their worlds.

Again, my thanks to all who are making this year's event a success. This will be the one to remember!