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Five selected to be AEDC Fellows

TULLAHOMA, TENN. -- The Arnold Community Council announced that five individuals who have made significant long-term contributions to the advancement of aerospace ground testing technology and capabilities at AEDC have been selected as 2017 AEDC Fellows.

Lester Bates, of Tullahoma, and the late Dr. E. Eugene “Gene” Callens Jr., formerly of Tullahoma, have been selected to be honored as AEDC Technical Fellows.

Pete French, of Manchester, and Annette McCullough Painter, of Manchester, have been selected to be honored as AEDC Craftsman Fellows.

David Minto, recently retired technical director of the AEDC 704th Test Group at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, has been selected as an AEDC Lifetime Achievement Fellow.

The new selectees will be honored and inducted as AEDC Fellows at a banquet June 23 at the Arnold Lakeside Center, Arnold Air Force Base. The annual Fellows banquet is held on the closest available date to the birthday of General of the Air Force Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold who was born June 25, 1886.

President Harry S. Truman dedicated AEDC in Gen. Arnold’s memory on June 25th 1951, saying in his speech “here men will test what lies on the other side of the speed of sound.”

The AEDC Fellows Program was established in 1989 as the AEDC top award to honor those who have made significant long term contributions to advance aerospace ground flight simulation technology and capabilities.

To date, 91 people have been honored as AEDC Fellows.

In late 2016 the Arnold Community Council, a 501c6 Tennessee non-profit corporation formed in 2000 to support AEDC, took over responsibility for the AEDC Fellows Program.

Changes to Air Force policy in mid-2016 prevent the Air Force from giving awards to individual contractor personnel.

The ACC AEDC Fellows Committee, led by a former AEDC commander, retired Maj. Gen. Mike Wiedemer (Lifetime Achievement AEDC Fellow), finalized the selection of the 2017 AEDC Fellows from nominations submitted by past and present AEDC personnel and AEDC Fellows.