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Civic leaders get up-close look at strategic mission

Col. James L. Morriss III, right, 307th Bomb Wing vice commander, welcomes Texas civic leaders and 433rd Airlift Wing members to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Oct. 27, 2016 as they begin a two-day tour of the base. During their visit, community leaders toured the B-52 Stratofortress, flew in the aircraft’s simulator, and saw demonstrations by the military working dogs, explosive ordnance and life support flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Col. James L. Morriss III, right, 307th Bomb Wing vice commander, welcomes Texas civic leaders and 433rd Airlift Wing members to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Oct. 27, 2016 as they begin a two-day tour of the base. During their visit, community leaders toured the B-52 Stratofortress, flew in the aircraft’s simulator, and saw demonstrations by the military working dogs, explosive ordnance and life support flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Senior Airman J. Michael Smith left, and Tech. Sgt. Paul Works, right, both with the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight, secure Matthew Haby of Haby Reality into an EOD 9 bomb suit Oct. 27, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base,  Louisiana. The demonstration was part of a civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Senior Airman J. Michael Smith left, and Tech. Sgt. Paul Works, right, both with the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight, secure Matthew Haby of Haby Reality into an EOD 9 bomb suit Oct. 27, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The demonstration was part of a civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Roman Lara, Rackspace Hosting senior security engineer, controls a F6A explosive ordnance robot during a demonstration by the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron EOD flight Oct. 27, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The demonstration was part of a two-day civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Roman Lara, Rackspace Hosting senior security engineer, controls a F6A explosive ordnance robot during a demonstration by the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron EOD flight Oct. 27, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The demonstration was part of a two-day civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Senior Airman Jonathan Baker, 2nd Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, commands his partner, Vellma, let go of Randy Stokes, owner of The Barn Door restaurant in San Antonio and volunteer assailant, during a military working dog demonstration Oct. 27, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Lousians. The demonstration was part of a civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Senior Airman Jonathan Baker, 2nd Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, commands his partner, Vellma, let go of Randy Stokes, owner of The Barn Door restaurant in San Antonio and volunteer assailant, during a military working dog demonstration Oct. 27, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Lousians. The demonstration was part of a civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

First Lt. Cynthia Ryan, middle, 11th Bomb Squadron B-52 Stratofortress navigator, explains the intricacies of the B-52 to Texas civic leaders Oct. 28, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The aircraft tour was part of a two-day civic leader visit sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

First Lt. Cynthia Ryan, middle, 11th Bomb Squadron B-52 Stratofortress navigator, explains the intricacies of the B-52 to Texas civic leaders Oct. 28, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The aircraft tour was part of a two-day civic leader visit sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Lt. Col. Ken Wyzywany, 307th Operations Group B-52 Stratofortress weapons systems officer, shows Texas civic leaders the underside of a B-52 while touring the aircraft Oct. 28, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The group of 23 civic leaders also had the opportunity to fly the B-52 in its flight simulator the day prior as part of a two-day civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Lt. Col. Ken Wyzywany, 307th Operations Group B-52 Stratofortress weapons systems officer, shows Texas civic leaders the underside of a B-52 while touring the aircraft Oct. 28, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The group of 23 civic leaders also had the opportunity to fly the B-52 in its flight simulator the day prior as part of a two-day civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Staff Sgt. Travis Tidwell, 2nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, directs Bjorn Dyhdahl, Bjorn’s Audio Video president, on what to do during a parachute simulator demonstration Oct. 28, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Texas. The demonstration was part of a civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Staff Sgt. Travis Tidwell, 2nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, directs Bjorn Dyhdahl, Bjorn’s Audio Video president, on what to do during a parachute simulator demonstration Oct. 28, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Texas. The demonstration was part of a civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Staff Sgt. Travis Tidwell, 2nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, explains to Patricia Revollo, Starbucks district manager, how the parachute simulator works before starting the demonstration Oct. 28, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Texas. The demonstration was part of a civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Staff Sgt. Travis Tidwell, 2nd Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, explains to Patricia Revollo, Starbucks district manager, how the parachute simulator works before starting the demonstration Oct. 28, 2016 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Texas. The demonstration was part of a civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Tech. Sgt. Sean Preston, 433rd Maintenance Squadron engine technician, shows local civic leaders a C-5M Super Galaxy engine in the unit’s engine shop Oct. 27, 2016 while they wait to board a C-5M Super Galaxy bound for Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. later that morning. The group participated in a two-day civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Tech. Sgt. Sean Preston, 433rd Maintenance Squadron engine technician, shows local civic leaders a C-5M Super Galaxy engine in the unit’s engine shop Oct. 27, 2016 while they wait to board a C-5M Super Galaxy bound for Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. later that morning. The group participated in a two-day civic leader tour sponsored by the 433rd Airlift Wing and hosted by the 307th Bomb Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

Civic leaders within San Antonio and its surrounding communities pose for a photo in the cargo bay of a C-5M Super Galaxy Oct. 28, 2016 on the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, flight line after returning home from a two-day tour of Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)
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Civic leaders within San Antonio and its surrounding communities pose for a photo in the cargo bay of a C-5M Super Galaxy Oct. 28, 2016 on the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, flight line after returning home from a two-day tour of Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- More than 20 civic leaders within San Antonio and its surrounding communities boarded a C-5M Super Galaxy Oct. 27 bound for Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to get an up-close look at the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command and the 307th Bomb Wing.

The two-day event included and a tour of the B-52 Stratofortress and ride in its simulator; a U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command briefing; military working dog, explosive ordnance, and life support demonstrations; and a walk through of the base museum and aircraft static display park. A handful of attendees also witnessed an in-air refueling of the C-5M Super Galaxy by a KC-135 Stratotanker on the flight home.

“This was a great opportunity to show our civic leaders another aspect of the Air Force mission that they would otherwise likely never see,” said Col. David Enfield, 433rd Mission Support Group commander who attended the trip on behalf of the 433rd Airlift Wing commander. “I think a lot of people don’t realize just how much is involved in the Global Strike Command mission. You could tell from their wide eyes, smiles and many questions that they were very intrigued and excited to be here. It was a great time for them and us.”

Steve Young, VIA Metropolitan Transit vice president of information technology, said he was appreciative for the opportunity to learn more about the Air Force and Air Force Reserve and how they work together.

“This was a chance for me to learn more about what the Air Force does and how they help our country,” he said. “Now I’ll be able to go back and share what I’ve learned with others in the community. We really have seen the great value Reservists bring to our country and we have an even greater respect for them in seeing what they do day-to-day.”

Dale Cochran from United Services Automobile Association said he was also excited to get a peek into the Air Force mission as his company does many dealings with military members.

“The military is very near and dear to us at USAA,” he said. “They’re an important part our mission and why we exist quite frankly; and so when I had this opportunity, I thought it would be a great chance to further increase my military acumen, so that I can better help members in the future.”

Cochran, the son of a former Air Force medic, noted that one of the biggest highlights of the trip for him was seeing the B-52.

“Being able to see and touch the B-52 was amazing,” he said. “It is such an integral part of our history and apparently it’s going to be part of our future as well since those planes are going to be around for a long time to come."

Robert Imler, a self-employed community and government relations consultant, said he was also thrilled for the opportunity to see a different part of the Air Force mission that he had never seen before.

“This has been a great trip, and I’ve learned so much,” he said. “This is the third opportunity I’ve had to attend a trip such as this and I tell you what, it just makes you proud to be a citizen of the United States.”

Some of the highlights for Imler included flying in the C-5M and seeing the military working dogs in action.

“I have flown on a number of aircraft, but never the C-5,” he said. “It was awesome. Also, the working dogs demonstration yesterday was outstanding. EOD did an amazing job and everything has just been great. You guys hit it out of the ballpark with this one.”

As the tour came to an end, the 307th BW commander, Col. Bruce Cox, thanked everyone for visiting and for their support of the 433rd Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve as a whole.

“It’s these type of outreaches that are going to continue to strengthen the relationship we’ve built between the services of our nation and the civilian communities surrounding them,” he said. “So please keep doing what you’re doing. The 433rd needs your support. Your positive relationship will continue to grow and spread across the nation.”