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2nd CWSS cuts ribbon to new facility

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Airmen with the 2nd Combat Weather Systems Squadron held a ribbon cutting ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Dec. 19, 2017. The new, 2,100 square foot testing and training facility will help further the Air Force-wide goal of strengthening the joint team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman)

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Airmen with the 2nd Combat Weather Systems Squadron held a ribbon cutting ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Dec. 19, 2017. The new, 2,100 square foot testing and training facility will help further the Air Force-wide goal of strengthening the joint team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman)

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Airmen with the 2nd Combat Weather Systems Squadron held a ribbon cutting ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Dec. 19, 2017. The new, 2,100 square foot testing and training facility will help further the Air Force-wide goal of strengthening the joint team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The 2nd Combat Weather Systems Squadron, an Air Combat Command tenant unit here, held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of a new testing and training facility Dec. 19.

The new, 2,100 square foot facility will give the 2nd CWSS another tool to help further the Air Force-wide goal of strengthening the joint team.

“Instead of just a building, I would like you to envision it as a new tool in the Air Force’s vast tool belt to deliver combat power,” said Lt. Col Ryan Harris, commander of the 2nd CWSS. “More than 200 joint weather professionals will walk through these doors each year, trained on the latest environmental intelligence sensing systems before each of them deploy to enhance the joint and coalition fight downrange.”

Before moving to the new facility, the 2nd CWSS was operating much of its test and training mission out of two semi-truck trailers.

“We got our money’s worth out of those trailers; they’ve survived multiple hurricanes, tropical storms, lightning strikes, and even a tornado,” said Mike Boettcher, the lead program analyst with the 2nd CWSS. “Instead of just 3-5 years, we’ve gotten 17 years, 3 months, and 16 days out of them.”

The 2nd CWSS consists of more than 50 personnel from six career fields that test, train on and maintain both emerging and established weather technologies to inform global, regional, and tactical sensing strategies and enable strategic fielding decisions.

“We’re the only unit that both trains for weather systems and has the only facility that tests future weather technology in the entire Army and Air Force,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Schnicker, a weather systems trainer with the 2nd CWSS. “We test all kinds of systems that all Air Force weather personnel will utilize in the future, and this facility is going to give us the capability to run these tests more efficiently and faster.”