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NEWS | May 20, 2024

Mission Monday: Headquarters Air Force Liaison

Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs

It’s Mission Monday. Meet Debra Edwards, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s liaison to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for Energy, Installations and Environment. 

Edwards is the conduit between SAF and AFFCE leadership to make sure projects and programs worked by the team in the AFCEC Installations Directorate have the appropriate attention and support from headquarters. She also keeps AFCEC directorate leadership informed of potential concerns or impacts to program execution from the Department of the Air Force’s most senior leadership.  

The programs she supports include real estate transactions, real estate development, housing and Base Realignment and Closure. 

We asked Edwards to tell us more about herself and the work she does for DAF.

What do you love about your job?
The variety of tasks and projects I participate in on a daily basis and being part of a team that consistently delivers top-notch products for every task. I feel incredibly lucky to work with outstanding members of the housing, BRAC, real estate development, real estate transactions, planning and National Environmental Policy Act teams every day along with their counterparts at SAF. 
When it comes to your job, what keeps you motivated?
I’ve been in this position for a little over two years now and my motivation comes from helping my teammates in San Antonio. I make a point to help the team at AFCEC achieve their goals and objectives if I can get a vector, signature or position from SAF quickly. I also consider it a successful week if I can stop one or two taskers a week from being sent to the AFCEC team. I’m sensitive to the work and pressures the team is under every day and my driving motivation is to help whenever and however I can. 

Why are you and your team important to the Air Force and Space Force enterprise and your customers?
When the team in AFCEC has a clear picture of what our senior DAF leaders want to achieve, we’re in a better position to meet the needs of our customers at each installation. The liaison position cuts through some of the red tape to get a quick answer to tough questions and makes sure we continue to deliver on our commitments.

Describe a project or event you and your team worked on recently that gave you a great sense of accomplishment:
I don’t think I could pick a single project that provided me with a sense of accomplishment. Over the last two years, I’ve seen the housing team push to implement the Tenant Bill of Rights with nearly all of our project owners helping move Congress’ trust in our oversight efforts forward. 

The enhanced use lease team’s execution of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Visitor Center EUL in Colorado and multiple site development leases at the Grand Sky EUL in North Dakota are held up as the gold standard for how we can leverage our communities and developers to achieve real, material results for the DAF. 

In 2023, the BRAC team completed the whole base transfer of the former Chanute AFB in Illinois 35 years after the base closed which was no small feat. 

The real estate transactions team works on so many high-profile actions and always provides high-quality updates and packages for execution like the MIT Lincoln Laboratory lease and conveyance and the Otis Air National Guard Base Wastewater Treatment System exchange in Massachusetts, and the Cannon apartment lease in New Mexico.  

My personal involvement in any of these actions was limited but knowing this is the team I support provides me with a profound sense of accomplishment and I’m proud to represent the AFCEC directorate within the SAF offices.