Col. Roberts puts his past experience to use as AEDC Test Support Division Chief
By Deidre Ortiz, AEDC/PA
/ Published September 04, 2018
ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- Having previously served as the Commander of the 61st Air Base Group at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Col. Charles Roberts is comfortable in his new role as AEDC Test Support Division Chief.
“Los Angeles Air Force Base had nearly 4,500 personnel, and having been the installation commander, I feel that I have a lot of insight to this position and it folds really nicely into what I’m doing here,” Roberts said.
As Test Support Division Chief, Roberts will oversee the organizations providing medical, civil engineering, communications, chaplain, security, logistics, readiness and quality-of-life services at Arnold Air Force Base.
“It’s kind of like being the city manager but for a military base,” he said. “My duties are to manage the support functions for the Commander so that he can focus on the mission.”
When asked about what goals or changes he has in mind, Roberts explained he isn’t coming into the position with any preconceptions.
“Really I’m taking my first two months here to put eyes on the place and get acquainted,” he said. “My goal is ultimately to provide support to our uniform wearers, civilians and also the contractors and try to make their lives better as they support the mission.
“From what I’ve seen so far, we’re already doing an awesome job and it’s amazing all we do here.”
He added that he wasn’t previously aware of the entire scope of AEDC and how the work here plays into the broader Air Force mission.
“A lot of stuff the Air Force was doing in L.A. is a byproduct of the Test and Evaluation going on here at Arnold, and I didn’t put that together until coming here and now I see how critical it is to the aerospace industry and the Air Force,” he said.
Roberts joined the Air Force in June 1994, upon graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. He also has a Master of Science degree in Engineering and Environmental Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
His Air Force background is broad, serving as maintenance engineer, design engineer, readiness flight commander, and deputy engineering flight commander in various CONUS and overseas assignments. He has served two MAJCOM tours, an Air Staff tour and commanded two squadrons.
Roberts’ contingency experience includes a deployment to Saudi Arabia, two to Iraq, and one to Afghanistan.
Being most recently stationed in L.A. prior to coming to Arnold, Roberts welcomes the opportunity to once again be in the southeastern region of the U.S.
“It’s good being back in the Southeast,” he said. “I grew up in South Carolina and my mom is still there. I also have family in North Carolina, so I’m closer to them.”
Roberts believes that he and his family – which includes his wife Jenni, a daughter who is in college, and twins, a boy and a girl, who are in high school – will adjust to the area just fine.
“The folks here are super friendly, and so far we’re loving it,” he said.