HAF weather director visits 25th OWS, forecasts future for 1W0X1s

Ralph Stoffler, Headquarters Air Force director of weather, answers questions during a lunch at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 12, 2017. Stoffler met with Airmen and witnessed how D-M weather teams conduct operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael X. Beyer)

Ralph Stoffler, Headquarters Air Force director of weather, congratulates Senior Airman Jacob Yonkers, 355th Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster, after coining him at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 12, 2017. Part of Stoffler’s visit included awarding exemplary Airmen in addition to immersing into D-M’s weather operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael X. Beyer)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Ralph Stoffler, Headquarters Air Force director of weather, visited the 25th Operational Weather Squadron here Oct. 13.

Mr. Stoffler’s visit included meeting the squadron’s key leadership, receiving mission briefings and interacting with Airmen at all levels.

“Everybody is well integrated into the mission set,” Stoffler said. “They are cooperative and supportive of each other.”

As a result of Stoffler’s visit, Airmen gained a better understanding for the future of their career field.

“The best part about having the director come and visit us is that the Airmen get a sense of the challenges and issues he’s dealing with at the strategic level,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Maile, 25th OWS commander. “They get to hear the big perspective and direction the Air Force weather mission is going, and his vision for where we’re going to take the career field in the future.”

During one of the briefings, Stoffler went over the future of the career field, as well as some of the challenges associated with it, such as keeping up with emerging technologies which are rapidly changing.

“We want to make sure our Airmen are able to exploit and utilize the new technology and improve our integration into the flying unit support,” Maile said.

Additionally, Stoffler also sparked dialogue about how Airmen can affect the strategic operations at a higher level.

“They may be able to come up with solutions that can help the career field that we can push from the bottom up,” Maile said.