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  • 1st Weather Group holds change of command

    The 1st Weather Group welcomed a new commander during a socially-distanced ceremony July 24, 2020, in the Chief Master Sgt. Peter Moore auditorium. As part of the ceremony, Col. Travis Steen relinquished command of the 1st WXG and Col. Bradley Stebbins assumed command. The ceremony was officiated by Col. Patrick Williams, 557th Weather Wing commander.
  • 15th OWS creating margin with Ready Month

    The 15th Operational Weather Squadron has introduced a new scheduling model this year to improve readiness, morale and the ability to train. Dubbed “Ready Month,” the plan provides the opportunity for one of the squadron’s four operational flights to come off 24/7 operations for a month to focus on specialized deployment training, team and individual resiliency and flight-wide professional development, while still providing an additional stand-by margin of continuous surge capacity to the operations floor when required. “Resiliency has joined readiness as the two highest priorities for senior leaders and command teams across our Air Force and the Defense Department,” said Lt. Col. Lance Ratterman, 15th OWS commander. “Often times these two priorities can be competing, gains in readiness sometimes come at the expense of resiliency and vice versa.” Based at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, the 15th OWS began operations in February 1999 and spent most of its first two decades focused on a training-centered mission while providing aircrew weather briefings, airfield forecasts, and weather threat alerts for Defense Department locations across the Northeast United States. In the last three years, the 15th OWS mission has evolved and expanded to a global scale. The changes include the implementation of a state-of-the-art graphics system, used to identify aviation hazards across the world. Moreover, the squadron has seen a 650% increase in overseas deployments.
  • Virtual run honors fallen service member

    The 17th Operational Weather Squadron adapted their plans to honor a fallen service member and promote physical fitness while following the Center for Disease Control guidance to social distance.
  • 557th WW integrating with 16th AF missions

    The 557th Weather Wing is working to integrate its strengths into the recently formed 16th Air Force, which brought intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, cyber, electronic warfare, information operations and weather all under one roof. Integration is a key theme for the Air Force’s first information warfare numbered air force. The 557th’s efforts both reinforce the value of the wing’s existing missions, such as providing weather for aviation, but also offer new opportunities for the wing to increase lethality in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions of other 16th AF wings. “The realignment of the 557th WW into the information warfare numbered air force will have a profound effect on the future of weather and environmental intelligence operations, and we intend to bring that future fast,” said Jeffrey Fries, 1st Weather Group chief of operations standards and tactics.
  • Weather Airmen share mission at Rose Bowl event

    As people prepared to celebrate the New Year’s holiday, five Airmen from units across the 557th Weather Wing journeyed to Pasadena, California. Their mission was to tell the Air Force Weather story at Live on Green!, a free entertainment and education event that precedes the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game. “This event enabled our diverse team of Airmen to educate the public about roles and capabilities within Air Force Weather,” said Capt. Jeremy Mayo-Johnson, 14th Weather Squadron climate development analyst and team lead at the event. “We were able to show people of all ages that meteorologists can be more than just weathermen on TV and that the Air Force has a wide variety of career opportunities.”Live on Green!, now in its fifth year, offers entertainment and education to the 700,000 people who visit Pasadena for the annual parade and football game. Activities offered include musical performances, culinary demos, games and more.
  • 557th WW trains its own to deploy anytime, everywhere

    Instructors from the 2nd Combat Weather Systems Squadron took on an unusual set of students, a class composed entirely of Airmen from a single unit. Airmen from the 25th Operational Weather Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, attended the Deployed Weather Systems Training class at Hurlburt Field, Florida, as part of pre-deployment training Aug. 19-22, 2019. It is unusual to have a DWST class made up entirely of personnel from one unit. Classes are normally made up of students from several different weather squadrons but as the 557th WW is tasked to execute a greater number of deployment requirements, future DWST classes made up of one squadron may become more common. The 2nd CWSS is a combat-ready test and training squadron that combines maintenance, cyber and weather specialties, within the 557th Weather Wing, that cultivates advanced maintenance skills and operational expertise among its members for use on fielded tactical weather systems employed at downrange locations.
  • 557th WW holds first wing operational readiness exercise

    The 557th Weather Wing completed its first operational readiness exercise since standing up as an Air Combat Command wing. Held Aug. 19-23, Operational Readiness Exercise - Steel Colander tested the wing’s ability to deliver weather intelligence in a contested, degraded and operationally-limited environment. “We exercised not only wing capabilities located on Offutt Air Force Base, but also those of our geographically-separated units worldwide, to include all our operational weather squadrons,” said Ted Vroman, a 557th WW Plans and Programs exercise planner. The Air Force Weather Agency, a field operating agency, deactivated in 2015 when the 557th WW stood up. Conversion from a FOA to an operational wing removed many non-operational functions from the organization, leaving the wing an operations-focused entity and in the position to benefit from comprehensive operational readiness exercises.
  • ROKAF Weather Wing commander visits 557th WW

    The commander of the Republic of Korea Air Force Weather Wing visited 557th Weather Wing headquarters June 20, 2019. The ROK-US weather collaboration meeting, held between Col. Gyun Do Ki, ROKAF WW commander, and Col. Brian Pukall, 557th WW commander, is traditionally held every two years after the respective wings have a change in command. “Ever since I commissioned as a Weather Officer in ROKAF, I always aspired to come visit here,” said Ki. “After 30 years of service, my lifelong dream finally came true. I sincerely appreciate your hospitality.” The mission of the 557th WW, the Air Force’s only weather wing, is to maximize America’s power through the exploitation of timely, accurate and relevant weather information; anytime, everywhere.
  • Midshipmen visit 15th OWS to learn Midwest weather

    Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy visited the 15th Operational Weather Squadron May 11, 2019, to learn about severe weather and its effects on aviation. An example of cross service partnership, the annual visit allows future naval officers the opportunity to learn about weather phenomena from weather Airmen with real world experience and to discover the similarities and differences between the Air Force and Navy meteorology missions. “We enjoyed our visit to the 15th OWS and appreciated the hospitality,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Burich, a professor at the USNA. “The Midshipmen who end up flying for the Navy gained insight into the importance of accurate and timely weather information to flight operations and an appreciation for the work that goes into producing it.” Cadets studying at the U.S. service academies will often visit military installations or perform internships during summer break to become familiar with the military and gain experience in their future career fields.
  • 1 WXG’s virtual training brings real benefits

    Airmen assigned to the 1st Weather Group are rolling out virtual reality training tailored to the needs of the Air Force Weather community, allowing them to train faster and smarter. Delivered on March 14, 2019, 1st WXG’s NextGen Environmental Weather Training System simulates setting up and assembling a tactical meteorological observation system, known as a TMQ-53. The TMQ-53 is a portable, automated weather station that can take observations in up to one minute intervals, enabling flying missions around the world. The data it produces can be utilized by a weather observer in the field or by the Air Force Weather community using satellite communications. The TMQ-53 simulation complements other weather VR training products being developed in parallel by the 3rd Weather Squadron at Fort Hood, Texas; the 18th Weather Squadron at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and the 93rd Air-Ground Operations Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Coordination on the development maximized the innovation while eliminating a duplication of efforts. “The realism of the VR was incredible,” said Capt. Matthew Perkins, 1st WXG science officer. “I could make out tiny labels and serial numbers on equipment, and aircraft even flew overhead during the simulation. Virtual reality brings unprecedented realism to our training ability when the physical equipment is unavailable. Our deployed Airmen will have greater familiarity with these tools than ever before.”
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