JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
To the untrained eye, predicting the weather can be like betting red or black at the roulette wheel … you win some, you lose some.
Fortunately for the 12th Flying Training Wing, they have an ace up their sleeve. Alvin Hill is the weather operations flight chief with the 12th Operations Support Squadron. The 12th OSS is responsible for air traffic control, airfield management, weather, airspace management and aircrew flight equipment for all 12th Operations Group training.
Hill was recently notified that he had won the 2021 Air Force Weather Civilian Category I award for his accomplishments over the last year.
Some of those highlights included creating more than 65 separate hurricane response decision aids and briefing them to wing leadership, which resulted in timely aircraft evacuations ahead of approaching storms.
He also provided 27 CAT briefings to the 479th Flying Training Group leadership at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. His actions resulted in three separate aircraft evacuations of 24 aircraft, minimizing disruptions to the combat systems officer training mission.
Hill was also instrumental in providing the 502nd Air Base Wing with the best courses of action in response to the unprecedented and severe Winter Storm Uri in 2021.
Hill’s job is to forecast weather in support of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph’s flying mission as well as resource protection for the base. Hill leads a nine-person team of weather technicians and has worked in weather for 38 years, including 23 years active duty Air Force.
“This award is more a testament to the superb veteran weather team I have around me and my bosses who make sure we’re resourced to get the mission done,” Hill said upon learning he had won.
It was something that Col. Scott Rowe, 12th FTW commander, said that stuck out in Hill’s mind.
“I remember the commander coming into the weather office when he first got here saying, ‘My top two priorities are, accomplishing the flying training mission and weather. If I don’t have good foundational support for weather, we won’t have success with the flying training mission.’”
Predicting the weather has never been easy, despite the technological advances, but Hill wouldn’t have it any other way.
“What I enjoy the most is getting the forecast right,” he added. “That way, our customers and the community have time beforehand to take appropriate actions.”