PODCAST: Brig. Gen. Melancon

  • Published
  • By J.M. Eddins Jr.
  • Airman Magazine

In a time of great stress, upheaval and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Air Force has adapted, adjusted and innovated its way to maintaining readiness and protecting and maintaining a healthy force. The U.S. Air Force’s core missions remain unimpeded.


Listen to the AtAltitude podcast with Brig. Gen. Patrice A. Melancon

It should be no surprise that the Air Force mission continues. That is what the military does on a daily basis — adapt and overcome.

Military planners will tell you that no matter how good a plan may be the enemy still gets a say in the matter, as does the operational environment and the weather.

The key to success is to anticipate the challenges presented by the operational environment and the adversary and assess strengths and weaknesses on both sides, then build a plan not based on everything going right, but on anticipating things going wrong and searching for weaknesses present opportunities. 

In September 2019, nearing the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael striking Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Airman sat down for an interview with Brig. Gen. Patrice A. Melancon, Tyndall Air Force Base Reconstruction Program Management Office executive director.

More than 60% of Tyndall AFB’s facilities were significantly damaged in the hurricane. While the destruction was substantial with a long road to recovery, the overwhelming negative situation at first blush is instead becoming a great opportunity. 

At the direction of the secretary of the Air Force, Melancon is leading a team to program and prepare to execute nearly $3 billion in funding to construct a digitally-connected, 21st-century Air Force base capable of supporting up to three squadrons of F-35 Lightning IIs and one squadron of MQ-9 Reapers.

In this At Altitude podcast, Melancon discussed the challenges of planning, funding and building a Base of the Future while still supporting daily mission requirements.