News>USAFA cadets understand need for AF and Community partnerships
U.S. Air Force Academy cadets gather and listen to instructions at Valdosta Public Works in Valdosta, Ga., June 5, 2012, as part of a community interaction day. During the first day of their nearly three-week visit to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., the cadets toured Valdosta and Lowndes County to become more familiar with Moody’s local community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Paul Francis/Released)
U.S. Air Force Academy cadet Kyle Mahan drives a dump truck at Valdosta Public Works in Valdosta, Ga., as part of a community interaction day June 5, 2012. Each cadet competed in an obstacle course that included reverse maneuvers, parking and turns. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Paul Francis/Released)
U.S. Air Force Academy cadets work a front-end loader at Valdosta Public Works in Valdosta, Ga., June 5, 2012, as part of a community interaction day. A group of 10 cadets are currently visiting Moody Air Force Base, Ga., for nearly three weeks to get a taste of operational Air Force life and careers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Paul Francis/Released)
U.S. Air Force Academy cadets walk into Valdosta City Hall during a community interaction day at Valdosta, Ga., June 5, 2012, as part of the Operation Air Force program. Ops Air Force is a three-week summer program that allows cadets to visit various bases and experience the operational Air Force first hand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Paul Francis/Released)
by Airman 1st Class Paul Francis
23d Wing Public Affairs
6/19/2012 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Moody Air Force Base, Ga., hosted cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy on June 5, 2012, as part of Operation Air Force, a program that allows cadets to experience active-duty life.
Operation Air Force is a three-week summer program that allowed 10 cadets to visit Moody and experience the operational Air Force and shadow Airmen in different career fields.
"The program allows cadets to gain valuable information about various Air Force specialty codes that will help them make decisions about their career after they commission," said U.S. Air Force Capt. James Darlson, 23d Operations Support Squadron and Moody's coordinator for the program. "It also gives them the ability to gain appreciation for the roles of company grade officers and noncommissioned officers.
"An important aspect of life at any military assignment is the relationship with the surrounding community," he added. "The cadet's tour of Valdosta is a great way to show them the interaction between the community and the base."
The first day of their three-week visit started downtown with a tour of the Valdosta, Ga., and the Lowndes County community. A few of the different places the cadets visited included Wiregrass Georgia Technical College and the Smith Northview Hospital.
Mayor John Gayle, the mayor of Valdosta, volunteered his time to meet with the cadets. Gayle spoke to them about the different times the community and base worked together in support of different events and the mutual support they give each other.
"What we try to do over the years for these cadets is start a path for them, let them see what it's like to work with the community," said Chuck Roberts, Smith Northview Hospital assistant administrator. "It's a great opportunity for the cadets to see how the community works to support Moody members and improve their relations."
The cadets spent the rest of day touring the different squadrons at Moody and learning more about the base and its mission. The different facilities included in the tour were the 71st Rescue Squadron, 23d Mission Support Group and 41st Rescue Squadron.
"This is a great experience for us to get the chance learn what the officers do and the relationship between officers and enlisted members," said Cadet second class Kyle Mahan, Air Force Academy cadet. "Having the opportunity to fly and see the base from a different view and how pilots operate was also a new experience."
There will be more groups of cadets that will join in the experience of visiting Moody throughout the summer.