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    Posted November 12, 2012 by
    Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    'Superstorm' Sandy: Your stories

    paffairs and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Sandy's damage across the East Coast
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    AEDC Hypervelocity Tunnel 9 returns to mission-critical testing after ‘Super Storm’ Sandy

    ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. – As images of the recent and devastatingly record-breaking “Super Storm” Tropical Cyclone Sandy’s impact have reached people worldwide, an email message from Dan Marren, the director of AEDC’s Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9 Facility in White Oak, Md., bore very good news.

    Addressed to Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) and Arnold Engineering Development Complex’s (AEDC) leadership and workforce, the subject line reads “White Oak Status 10/31 at 0900 hours – Site power restored.”

    Marren reported “As I write, operations started [Oct. 31] at 5:30 a.m., with deliberate system checks and reboots, the sound of the compressors running is music to the customer’s ears. Tunnel 9 will continue the important CPGS (Conventional Prompt Global Strike) testing in earnest today, continuing our busiest year yet at full capacity.”

    Tunnel 9, located at White Oak near Silver Spring, Md., provides aerodynamic simulation critical to hypersonic system development and hypersonic vehicle technologies.

    The facility supports testing for Air Force, Navy, Army, Missile Defense Agency, and NASA programs, as well as advanced hypersonic technologies such as wave-rider-type vehicles, scramjets and trans-atmospheric space planes.

    "Tunnel 9 is back in business for mission-critical testing after the area was slammed by Super Storm Sandy,” Marren said the day after the event was still making news headlines around the world and people on the East coast of the U.S. were reeling from its impact.

    “Being geographically separated from the main base brings challenges beyond purely technical,” Marren said. “Our technical and administrative staff prepares for and recovers from events from standard emergency response to storms. We feel a very real sense of mission as we protect our people first, look out for each other and guarantee the mission continues with minimal impact.”

    Marren added, “Everyone here has additional volunteer duties that contribute materially to that success and I am grateful to work for these folks. The combination of setting up good procedures, manning a round the clock command post, and coordinating with local responders on-site is something we have been improving each year. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the last time and not as good as the next time.”

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