REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (March 22, 2022) – Six weeks in the New Mexico heat, working on the U.S. Army’s premiere modernization showcase? Sign Lexie Inman up.
Inman is the Acting Lab Lead for the Rapid Scenario Prototyping Lab for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, but last fall, her primary job duty was providing range accountability and assisting with COVID-19 mitigation support at White Sands Missile Range, the secondary location for Project Convergence 21, the Army’s annual demonstration of new joint-domain technology.
There were long days, Inman said, but interesting work, and Inman’s dedication to that work was recognized by DEVCOM AvMC Director Jeff Langhout, who presented her with a certificate of appreciation for a job well done at PC21.
"Thank you for volunteering to do this,” Langhout said. “I appreciate you saying yes. There were a lot of people out there who made PC21 successful and they couldn’t have done it without you."
Inman grew up all over as part of a Navy family, but of the six states she lived in growing up, Inman’s extended family was in Alabama and felt the most like home. That – and a love of math and science – led her to Auburn University for her undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering, and then to pursue a Masters of Engineering.
But even with a full time job and graduate school, when Inman opened the email asking for PC21 volunteers, she was intrigued. She missed traveling to new places and was looking for a new adventure. White Sands was definitely that.
“Some days I would work 12 hour days,” she said. “At first I was just doing my job, but over time I made connections with many people. And they would include me on some of what they were doing, such as, ‘Oh, there is a missile launch happening if you want to see it.’ That was really neat. There were people there from all different branches – even the Space Force. It was cool seeing how everybody – the civilians, contractors and military -- all worked together.”
On the weekends, the proximity to New Mexico’s mountainous terrain provided Inman plenty of opportunity to partake in her love of the outdoors. When she says she enjoys the fresh air, she means that quite literally. Inman is an accomplished skydiver and “hanging out with friends” means actually hanging out with those friends from an airplane at 10,000 feet.
Now back in Alabama, Inman is keeping busy finishing her degree. But she found time recently to travel to Auburn and talk to engineering students about career opportunities at AvMC and what an Army civil servant does – whether it be in an office, a lab or in the middle of the desert.
“There is this idea that government employees can only be management, but I explained to them that there is technical work – I am actually in the weeds doing this stuff.
“I recruited at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Auburn and I was talking the whole time – there was constantly a line. So people are getting to know DEVCOM and AvMC. Word is getting out.”
The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.