HomeNewsFeaturesDisplay

Military engineer group boosts STEM at Malmstrom

Matt Wipf, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks fish culture specialist, talks to the Big Sky Post Society of American Military Engineers at their monthly meeting during a tour of the Giant Spring fish hatchery April 26, 2018, at Giant Springs State Park, Mont. Many of Malmstrom’s military members participate in Big Sky Post events that provide opportunities to learn about the infrastructure and operations of other organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kiersten McCutchan)

Matt Wipf, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks fish culture specialist, talks to the Big Sky Post Society of American Military Engineers at their monthly meeting during a tour of the Giant Spring fish hatchery April 26, 2018, at Giant Springs State Park, Mont. Many of Malmstrom’s military members participate in Big Sky Post events that provide opportunities to learn about the infrastructure and operations of other organizations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kiersten McCutchan)

Trout circle a fish pond while the Big Sky Post Society of American Military Engineers tour Giant Spring fish hatchery April 26, 2018, at Giant Springs State Park, Mont. during their monthly meeting. The Big Sky Post, the local area SAME group, leads community collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security infrastructure related challenges and helps the 341st Missile Wing meet its mission of STEM outreach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kiersten McCutchan)

Trout circle a fish pond while the Big Sky Post Society of American Military Engineers tour Giant Spring fish hatchery April 26, 2018, at Giant Springs State Park, Mont. during their monthly meeting. The Big Sky Post, the local area SAME group, leads community collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security infrastructure related challenges and helps the 341st Missile Wing meet its mission of STEM outreach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kiersten McCutchan)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --

Programs and events by the Society of American Military Engineers pair with programs and events by Science, Technology, Engineering and Math initiatives like peanut butter and jelly, or more aptly, nuts and bolts.

 

Across the country there is a critical need for STEM specialists to lead in future technology and innovation efforts across many industries.

 

The U.S. Air Force mission – to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace – requires the greatest minds the nation has to offer. Motivation for many STEM specialists who would like to serve the Air Force comes from the desire be a part of something bigger and make a difference. 

 

How to become involved

The Big Sky Post, the local area SAME group, leads community collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security infrastructure related challenges. Many military members at the 341st Missile Wing and from across the state are members of the group.

 

"People at Malmstrom involved in military engineering or who are interested in STEM career paths are usually involved with the Big Sky Post," said Staff Sgt. Ryan Villines, 819th RED HORSE Squadron water and fuel systems maintenance craftsman.

 

Villines is also a Big Sky Post SAME board member and their secretary.

 

“The post here is one of the most active posts for the region, and we receive accolades from SAME groups all around the world,” said Villines. “The military component of the board here is mostly run by RED HORSE. The Big Sky Post is just about half military members and half engineer members from local and statewide engineering firms.”

 

The president of the Big Sky Post is Master Sgt. Amanda Jones, 819th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron superintendent operations support.

 

Recently, law enforcement, youth programs and the library at Malmstrom have expanded outreach efforts to help the Air Force STEM program meet its mission.

 

Mission driven

The goal at Malmstrom is to recruit people for jobs and to provide information to students and Airmen about STEM education paths and vocations. The Big Sky Post helps Malmstrom meet this mission.

 

“One of our goals is to increase even more (Malmstrom) base involvement and interest in STEM disciplines in the community at large," Villines said.

 

Big Sky Post holds monthly meetings and other professional and social activities attended by members of local government, military members throughout Montana, private industry, students and other interested parties.

 

Big Sky Post members and non-members met April 26 for their monthly meeting and one-hour tour of the Giant Springs fish hatchery. The fish hatchery has recently made many upgrades to their process and facilities.

 

“Tours are organized to look at and learn about other organizations. In our community, we want to ensure the broad spectrum of knowledge in engineering infrastructure, improvements and operations is passed on through our professional generations,” Villines said.

 

Enhance STEM professional development

Events are open for members and the general public. The Big Sky Post also holds special events to honor SAME or community members who demonstrate exceptional STEM skills.

 

“Our networking, too, is incredible. Very often our military connections with the private sector mean we can solve challenges faster and grow ideas, knowledge and who you can make future contacts with in the industry,” Villines said.

 

In May, the group will meet for a Rainbow or Ryan – two of the largest local dams – tour and a visit to the powerhouse.

 

The date will be set soon, so check in with the group if wanting to attend the dam tour or future events, Villines said.

 

Interested students, Malmstrom personnel or community members interested in STEM/SAME professional development or membership, or for anyone who would like more information, can contact Villines at 406-564-6535.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.