First-ever White Jet OSS Summit

  • Published
  • 80th Operations Support Squadron

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 80th Operations Support Squadron hosted the first ever White Jet OSS Summit at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, May 7-8, 2019.

Representatives from the 12th, 14th and 71st Operations Support Squadrons from Randolph, Columbus and Vance AFB, Oklahoma, attended.

The summit presented an opportunity to make connections between the squadrons and to get directly in contact with members in parallel roles at other bases. Having face-to-face discussions helped build relationships that will overall broaden the experience of the individual teams.

“The attendees were given tours of our facilities to fuel a conversation about similarities and differences between our operations and theirs,” said 2nd Lt. Connor Schneider Mundt, 80th OSS commanders executive administrator. “Many were particularly interested in our virtual reality simulators used to train pilots as well as tower and RAPCON controllers. Sheppard is not the only base pursuing these technologies and a collaborative approach to implementing them will minimize the wasted efforts of developing independent solutions to the same problems.”

During a large group discussion of the summit, the room was in total agreement that despite goegraphical separation, each OSS and each flight within is working toward the same goal and that it makes sense to work together when they can.

“Our mission is the same,” said Staff Sgt. Jesse Harnage, 71st OSS representative.

Concerns we made about the risk of falling back into a culteral intertia once the summit ends and everyone returns back to their bases.

“It’s easy to say when everyone is seated across from one another in the same room, but working together is more difficult with many miles between squadrons,” said Schneider Mundt.

Understanding that continued collabeoration is important, 2nd Lt. Kevin Smith, 80th OSS Weather Flight commander, presented a few ways that the units could stay in contact.

“Having easy ways to stay in touch is how we will create lasting results from the time spent together here,” Smith said.

For some, the persepective, knowledge and connections gained at the summitwill help develop other programs even further.

“I really appreciate the opportunity,” said Senior Airman Ian Barnes, and air traffic controller form Vance AFB. “I plan on joining Vance’s innovation team when I return to my home base.”

“The OSS Summit was a great opportunity for networking, problem solving and career broadening,” said Schnieder Mundt. “The lessons learned and shared experiences are sure to stick with the OSS representatives as they return home and press on with new ideas and new connections.”