KIRTLAND AFB, NM, Oct. 15, 2018 – Nineteen civilian interns recently graduated from their training with the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.
Under the Air Force Civilian Intern Program, they successfully completed a two- or three-year program of on-the-job training, professional and personal development, and service opportunities for the center’s local headquarters and directorates.
“Congratulations to our newest intern graduates,” said Joseph Oder, AFNWC executive director and the center’s senior civilian. “I commend your efforts in becoming not only Air Force civil servants, but also civilians dedicated to ensuring our nation’s most powerful weapons are never doubted and always feared. You have impressed me and your supervisors with your talent and enthusiasm, and I wish you well in your new endeavors as center employees.”
One of the new graduates, Paola Banuelos, started her government career as a science and engineering intern with the center’s Nuclear Weapons Effects and Survivability Division. During her internship she earned a master's degree in operations research and statistics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Banuelos will be placed in an Air Force job as an operations research analyst for AFNWC’s Nuclear Surety and Certification Division. The nuclear surety and certification career field has a critical demand for new engineers and program managers, as several Air Force nuclear weapon systems are currently being developed or modernized.
Pietro Berardinelli earned a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico and became a program management intern with AFNWC’s Weapon Storage and Security System Program Office. During his internship, he was selected as the center's first “Outstanding Program Management Trainee of the Year.”
“I enjoyed the unique opportunity that this program affords newcomers to the center and to the Air Force,” Berardinelli said. “You…move throughout the center and learn a wide range of processes, policies and procedures.” He now works in the Weapon Generation Facility Program Office.
His advice for new employees beginning the internship process?
“Have patience,” Berardinelli said. “For many new interns, this is a whole new world full of amazingly complex organizational structures and processes that you have likely never experienced before. Immerse yourself…and things will slowly come into focus.”
The following AFNWC graduates specialized in several Air Force disciplines at Kirtland AFB: