Civic leaders get up-close look at strategic mission
By Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice, 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 29, 2016
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.”