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33rd FW Intelligence participates during Air Force Research Laboratory Warrior Panel

  • Published
  • By Airman Christian Corley
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alexandria Peckyno, a weapons intelligence officer with the 33rd Operational Support Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, participated in the annual Air Force Research Laboratory’s Warrior Panel, June 29, to discuss U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force technology.

The AFRL Scholars Program Warriors Panel offers undergraduate and graduate-level students the opportunity to hear U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force leaders’ perspectives on military technology and how the research interns may work on in AFRL could impact the future.

“They may not know how important technology is to our day-to-day operations,” said Peckyno. “We need the technology that they are working on right now so that we can protect America.”

Peckyno sat on the panel with U.S. Space Force Col. Woodrow Meeks, commander and director of the munitions directorate, AFRL, Eglin AFB, Florida, U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Magruder Jr., vice commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida, and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Dolce, material leader, air dominance division, Eglin AFB, Florida.

Brian Mitchell, the pipeline coordinator, munitions directorate with AFRL, selected the panelists based on their backgrounds to provide AFRL interns a better understanding of the impact they have.

“If you’re an intern and you’ve never worked on an Air Force Base before, you don’t really have a good picture of what the entire Air Force mission is,” said Mitchell. “You understand the work that you’re doing but you may not understand how the work that you’re doing fits into the larger Air Force picture.”

The students work as interns for AFRL scientists and engineers developing cutting-edge technology and research-based projects, including technology used by the 33rd FW.

“You’ve got an F-35 that is continuously evolving, so the talent that's needed in order to do that could potentially be a part of the AFRL Scholars Internship Program,” said Mitchell. “There’s an access to talent that is very difficult to get otherwise.”

During the warrior panel, Peckyno’s responses affected more than the students.

“She provided a fantastic insight that was different from the other panelists,” said Mitchell. “They may not have known what Air Force Intel looks like – now they do.”

The event also gives military leaders an opportunity to meet the interns who may work with them in the future.

“It was very humbling,” said Peckyno. “I got to sit in a room full of people who have [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] degrees or who are working on them, and have the engineering background to produce the technology that’s going to lead us to deter a war and help us be successful.”