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Support Airman of the Week: Lt. Wibben

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  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

1st. Lt. Derek Wibben, 82nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron operations Officer in Charge of Aerospace and Operational Physiology, is from Andover, Minnesota, and has been in the Air Force for one year. Wibben is the Support Airman of the Week at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, for the week of 23-29 Aug. 2016.


Most significant accomplishments:


- Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Arizona.


- Arizona/NASA Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate Research Intern – Project Team Member for the Prototype Lunar Greenhouse.


- Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University.


- One of Four Trainee Squadron Operations Commanders at Commissioned Officer Training - directed 80 other medical/Judge Advocate General/chaplain officers and led them to the title of Honor Squadron and two Squadron of the Week awards throughout the training. Earned Distinguished Graduate for outstanding leadership, fitness, and academic success.


- Distinguished Graduate of the Aerospace and Operational Physiology Officer Course.


- 82nd Medical Group Change of Command project officer - organized 21 agencies and directing over 70 personnel.


- Human Factors expert for a dental Sentinel Event Root Cause Analysis investigation - developed recommendations for 3 causal factors to the Air Force Medical Operations Agency and the Joint Commission to reduce potential for further errors Air Force-wide.


Airman’s story:


“I am originally from Minnesota,” said Wibben. “I completed my undergraduate degree at the beautiful University of Arizona. The following summer, my cousin and I worked highway construction together to give our brains a break after both finishing engineering school and, as he was about to commission as an Air Force undergraduate pilot student, it helped solidify my decision to become a military officer upon completion of graduate school.”


“Because of my medical background and a pretty sweet and applicable NASA internship, I chose to join as an Aerospace and Operational Physiologist, where I have the opportunity to provide life-saving training to joint-service and international aircrew while proudly serving my country,” he said.

Supervisor’s comments:

“Lieutenant Derek Wibben is a self-starter and has transitioned from being a civilian just over a year ago to a fully certified Aerospace Physiologist,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Wolf, 82nd AMDS commander. “He is a ‘speed of light’ learner with phenomenal leadership skills. Due to his high level of motivation, he has increased the number of classes offered, enable more just-in-time training, and decreased altitude exposure times. His military bearing and physical standards exceed the standard exemplifying the Air Force image. He instructs approximately 72 students including Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training student pilots each month. He strives to enhance the 82nd Training Wing’s mission to ‘Train and Inspire Warriors’ as well as the 82nd AMDS mission at ‘Preventing Disease and Optimizing Performance.’”