Events

June 15, 2012

Civil Air Patrol aerospace education reaches new heights with B-2 aerial refueling

Tags:
by Laura Mowry
Staff writer
Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka
Master Sgt. Thomas Ireland, 445th Flight Test Squadron superintendent and boom operator, operates the boom on a KC-135 while Civil Air Patrol Airman 1st Class Francisco Gonzalez watches. CAP cadets got the chance to watch the mid-air refueling of a B-2 stealth bomber June 7.

A little incentive goes a long way for eight members of Civil Air Patrol Squadron 84, who spent June 7 touring Edwards and even had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly for 90 minutes onboard a KC-135 tasked with refueling the most impressive, B-2 stealth bomber.

The educational, action-packed day began at 9 a.m. for the squadron and included mission and physiology briefings; as well as a tour of the historic Edwards flightline, where students had the opportunity to see aircraft, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, B-1 Lancer and C-17 Globemaster III. After the tour, the group dined at the Base Exchange for lunch and prepared for their afternoon rendezvous with the B-2.

The sortie, which began at 1 p.m., provided Squadron 84 with the opportunity to learn firsthand about aerial refueling. Each member of the squadron had time with boom operator Master Sgt. Thomas Ireland, 445th Flight Test Squadron superintendant, during the inflight refueling effort. During the flight, cadets also had the opportunity to spend time in the KC-135 cockpit.

“The goal of the day was to give the cadets a firsthand look at Airmen at work and excite an appreciation for aerospace,” said Staff Sgt. Aaron Ray, 445th FLTS. “Our aim was for the group to learn that there are many facets to the Air Force team and to expose them to the operational side.”

Ray, a prior Civil Air Patrol cadet served as the group’s tour guide throughout the visit and was the additional boom operator onboard the KC-135 flight.

“As a former Civil Air Patrol cadet, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the cadets,” said Ray. “I know how influential opportunities like this were for me as a cadet and [how it] helped shape my future. I hope to pay that forward.”

According to Ray, the squadron’s rare opportunity to spend a day touring the operational side of Edwards and participate in an incentive flight, which refueled the B-2, is an important moment for the cadets. Additionally, it plays a significant role by helping to fulfill the Civil Air Patrol’s aerospace education mission.

“I can see some of these kids being generals one day or going out there and making a big impact,” said Diane Zamot, Squadron 84 Aerospace Education officer. “This could be the start of it.”

Part of what makes Civil Air Patrol a great opportunity for children between the ages of 12 and 18, is that it educates youth on so much more than just flight. Civil Air Patrol emphasizes leadership, character development and community service.

Members of Civil Air Patrol Squadron 84 pose in front of a KC-135 tanker June 7 before taking an incentive flight to watch a mid-air refueling of a B-2 stealth bomber. The flight gave the cadets a firsthand show on real Air Force operations.

Refueling the B-2 at 23,000 feet just happens to be a huge perk of the program.

The squadron’s incentive flight is not the first of its kind for the group, which had the privilege of flying on a C-17 last summer. Additionally, each cadet in Civil Air Patrol is given five orientation flights in a Cessna 182.

When the cadets are not soaring high above the Antelope Valley, they can be found giving back to the community by helping organizations, such as the Airman’s Attic or even assisting at events.

Just a few of the events that the squadron has volunteered at include air shows; Black Bird Air Park’s open-cockpit event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis; participated in search and rescue missions and served as the Honor Guard at a Lancaster JetHawks game.

“It is awesome, the things we do make a difference in peoples’ lives,” said Zamot. “These kids are so dedicated and they know where they want to go. We build leaders – that is what the Civil Air Patrol does.”

For Squadron 84, the incredible opportunity of seeing the operational side of the Air Force at Edwards was just another step towards producing future leaders, whether it’s in the Air Force, a sister service, or even in the private sector. For now, they can marvel in the fact that they joined a rare group of folks who have had the honor of looking down at a B-2.

“The day was amazing. I don’t really know what to say, other than it was absolutely amazing,” said Marlena Sanchez, cadet technical sergeant.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
town-hall

Edwards community holds town hall meeting

Air Force photograph by Jena Romo Col. Eric Leshinksy, 412th Mission Support Group commander, addresses the audience at a town hall meeting Oct. 15 at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. The Edwards community gathered at th...
 
 
Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs The Air Force reminds us not to post information about deployment departures, locations, and on-going operations. However, even a simple photo of your family pet can reveal personal informat...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Gathering of Eagles honors 70 years of TPS

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Brig. Gen. Michael Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, offered the closing remarks for the event, reminding the audience that fundraiser is about preparing for the future. The Flight Test Hi...
 
 
commissary

Giving ‘gift of groceries’? Think Commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, Commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. “Our gift cards are versatile,” said Randy Chandler, the Defense Commi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Christian Turner

AFMC command chief visits with Edwards Airmen

Air Force photograph by Christian Turner Chief Master Sgt. Michael J. Warner, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, speaks to enlisted Airmen at Club Muroc Oct. 15. Warner held two enlisted calls speaking to junior Airmen i...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>