ARNOLD AFB, Tenn. – NextGen, a National Aerospace Solutions, LLC (NAS) group of early-career employees focused on networking, professional development, and stewardship, is looking to build upon the accomplishments of 2020 as they move into the new year.“NextGen exists to meet the needs of those who are within their first five years of work at Arnold Air Force Base,” said Gareth Penfold, newly-elected NextGen President for 2021. “We strive to connect new employees with others who are in the same stage of their career, as well as provide them with resources and connections for their future.”
New officers were recently elected for the organization, which serves employees of NAS and those of teaming subcontractors, Chugach and nLogic.
Despite their 2020 schedule of events being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, NextGen held two social events and multiple lunch-and-learns this year. The latter included partnering with Ascend Federal Credit Union for a series on finance-related topics. The most recent lunch-and-learn featured a tour of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) Propulsion Wind Tunnel Main Drive at Arnold Air Force Base.
“The tour allowed our members an opportunity to see some of the capabilities and work that takes place outside of their assigned work areas,” Penfold said.
The organization looks to continue along this theme with a 2021 monthly series of lunch-and-learns focused on the capabilities of AEDC and tours of the test cells and supporting facilities.
While COVID-19 precautions are expected to be necessary into 2021, NextGen officers are seeking ways to safely and responsibly resume holding social events for its members.
The goals for the organization include a continued focus on improvement.
“We plan to hold forums for NextGen members to express their thoughts and ideas on how to improve NextGen to better meet the needs of its demographic,” Penfold said.
Community involvement is also on the agenda for the organization in 2021 through partnering with local nonprofits and educational institutions.
For more information on NextGen, call 931-454-6140.
NAS NextGen 2021 Officers:
• President: Gareth Penfold – Instrumentation, Data and Controls Engineer, Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit Test Operations; Space and Missile Branch
• Vice President: Benjamin Manipadam – Modeling and Simulation Engineer; Technology Innovations Branch
• Secretary: Erik Graubner – Instrumentation, Data and Controls Engineer; Flight Branch
• Treasurer: Daniel Thomas – Mechanical System Engineer, Propulsion Wind Tunnel; Flight Branch
• Professional Networking Chair: Rob Forde – Instrumentation, Data and Controls Engineer; Flight Branch
• Stewardship Chair: Scarlett Taylor – Reliability Engineer; Asset Health Assurance Branch