ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. --
In late August, Chief Master Sgt. Jennifer Cirricione arrived at her new duty station, a base little-known to many in the Air Force, Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.
Chief is the new Senior Enlisted Leader for Arnold Engineering Development Complex, headquartered at Arnold AFB. When telling colleagues where she was headed, she said they responded with, “We have a base in Tennessee?”
“To be honest, I didn’t know Arnold existed until I saw the position advertised,” Cirricione said.
Now that she is in the know, she’s excited about the mission entrusted to Team AEDC at Arnold and the organization’s geographically separated units – proving the superiority of systems required to meet the demands of the National Defense Strategy.
Her last assignment was Superintendent of the 54th Fighter Group, 49th Wing at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. Holloman is also where the 704th Test Group of AEDC is headquartered, and this afforded her the opportunity to do an immersion with the 704 TG prior to arriving at Arnold.
“Their mission is so cool,” Cirricione said. “Airmen out there putting sensors on test dummies when they’d normally be working on aircraft. Every Airman doing something a little out of the norm.”
The 704 TG includes the 846th Test Squadron which operates the Holloman High-Speed Test Track to facilitate ground tests such as aircraft crew escape testing.
As the Senior Enlisted Leader for AEDC, a wing-equivalent organization, Chief will serve as the principal advisor to Col. Jeffrey Geraghty, AEDC commander. In this role, she will advise him on health, morale, welfare, readiness and training of Team AEDC; serve as a liaison to the community; and help explain the commander’s priorities, policies and objectives as needed.
AEDC, though, is a little different than most Air Force wings. The workforce is comprised of approximately 4 percent military, 20 percent civilian and 76 percent contractor.
“It’s definitely different,” Cirricione said. “As I put a little time in here, I’m sure I’ll learn just how different. But, everywhere I’ve been, I’ve always wanted to bring the team together, with a focus on big ‘A’ Airmen, meaning military, civilians and contractors, and make sure everyone has what they need to accomplish the mission safely.”
Chief is not new to unique environments and brings with her experience directly applicable to an effort underway at AEDC – reorganizing with the goal of achieving official unit status as a wing comprised of groups and squadrons. She served as the Superintendent for the 366th Operations Group at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, when the 366th Fighter Wing was going through an experimental restructuring that included removing the group commander level in the chain of command.
“What I learned from that experience is the most important thing during a reorganization is communication, up and down the chain,” Cirricione said.
To learn more about Chief’s military career, read her official biography at www.arnold.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/.