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Col. Wickert's nomination adds to excitement at Edwards Air Force Base

Wickert says he's deeply honored to become brigadier general; says artificial intelligence is among the modernization at the test wing
Posted at 9:06 PM, Apr 26, 2024

EDWARDS, Calif. (KERO) — President Biden nominates Col. Douglas Wickert for promotion to brigadier general; Wickert sits down with 23 ABC reporter Steve Virgen for an exclusive interview.

  • Col. Douglas Wickert says Edwards Air Force Base is in need of engineers, as well as those with other skill sets. You can find more information on this site.
  • Wickert says the future is now at Edwards Air Force base with regards to test flights.
  • Artificial intelligence has a presence at Edwards Air Force Base.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Colonel Douglas Wickert has been in command at Edwards Air Force Base since August... and in that time... he has made a big impact.

I’m Steve Virgen your neighborhood reporter.

President Biden recently nominated Wickert for promotion to brigadier general.

Colonel Wickert sat down with me for an exclusive interview.

“What an exciting time to be in test. Everything is happening all at once. The Air Force is going through a major modernization of every single weapons system, which means everything is going through test at the same time,” Wickert said.

Wickert’s promotion isn’t the only buzz at Edwards Air Force Base.

Wickert tells me that testing at the base ranges from the revamping of the B-52 to the newest bomber: the B-21.

And artificial intelligence is all the rage.

“We are right now flying artificial intelligence agents on a fighter aircraft," he said.

It’s the X-62. Involved in dogfighting and dynamic maneuvering, Wickert says. Dogfighting is the most complex training for pilots.

“And if you can trust the artificial intelligence to do that, then all the other missions are much simpler. …

“What we’re learning from that program will roll into new capabilities that we’re developing.”

The future is now at Edwards when it comes to A-I and other testing.

"One of the things we love to say is if you want to know what the Air Force in three years or five years is going to look like: What is the Air Force of 2027? It’s the one flying over the skies at Edwards Air Force Base every single day," he said.

Wickert is a combat veteran with more than 2,000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft.

He is known for his leadership and was recently promoted to brigadier general... one of the highest levels of leadership in the U.S. military.

“It’s a deep honor. It’s an opportunity to continue to serve beyond 30 years. And I love what I’m doing and I’m grateful for the Air Force to keep doing it for a little bit longer, at least,” he said.

He’s proud of his time as a department head and permanent professor of aeronautics at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

“Now I actually get my students coming through as lieutenants going through the test pilot school," he said.

Wickert added there is a need for more engineers at Edwards Air Force Base, as well as those with other skill sets.

"It’s a great time to come and be a part of the team at Edwards Air Force Base. And, we’re hiring," he said.

Wickert encourages those wanting to work at Edwards Air force Base to apply. You can find information here. At Edwards Air Force Base, I’m Steve Virgen your neighborhood reporter.


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