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Civic leader tour showcases Air Force Reserve mission

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Haley Phillips
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A group of 14 civic leaders from the local area gathered at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, Thursday for an educational tour to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Civic leader tours are designed to inform community members of the Air Force Reserve mission, and to highlight the importance of the roles the community and families play in the lives of the Air Force's Citizen Airmen.

To kick off the tour, the group met for coffee and donuts followed by a safety briefing and meet and greet with the crew. 

After the safety briefing and introductions, the civic leaders were taken directly to the C-17 Globemaster III on the flight line. 

The civilians, each influential in some way in their communities or in the lives of Air Force Reservists stationed at Joint Base Charleston, boarded the aircraft ready to experience a glimpse of Air Force Reserve life.

During the flight, each person had a turn going into the cockpit and chat with the pilots. 

Bob Beres, also known as “Trooper Bob,” said that it was the experience of a lifetime.

“Being able to be in the cockpit of a C-17 and see the landing was truly a bucket list item checked off for me,” said Beres. “I felt like a kid getting to experience something that awesome.” 

After landing at MacDill, the members were shuttled on a bus and given a tour of the base. The group was first taken to aircrew life support where they saw a demonstration of various emergency equipment such as flight helmets and emergency inflatable rafts. 

The group also witnessed the Special Operations Memorial, and they were given a briefing about the importance of Reserve Airmen and the Air Force Reserve Mission. The civic leaders were given a tour of a KC-135R, as well as the 927th Maintenance Squadron to see various aspects of the Air Force mission. 

Chief Master Sgt. Joe Gonzalez, 315th Airlift Wing command chief, said hosting civic leader tours benefit both the community and AF Reserve members.

“It provides an opportunity for our civilian peers to have an in depth look at what we do as Citizen Airmen and all that is required to sustain the engine we call Air Force Reserve Command.”

 

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