Base tour unites Team Shaw and community
By SrA Ashley Maldonado Suarez
/ Published January 17, 2019
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Team Shaw Airmen opened its gates to Sumter, S.C. middle school students with the goal of opening their eyes to the daily work lives of Airmen serving in a variety of career fields across the Air Force, Jan. 11.
The Sumter Chamber of Commerce developed the Career Forum Program which allows students in the Sumter School District the opportunity to learn about potential job opportunities.
“Growing our relationship with the Sumter community is something we take very seriously at Shaw,” said Allen, 20th Mission Support Group Director of installation support. “We always look for opportunities to learn from our neighbors and teach them about our mission. This visit was special for us because we had the chance to connect with students across Sumter County who, one day, might become a part of our Air Force.”
Months of planning by 2nd Lt. Amy Algood, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron logistics readiness officer, and Jane Allen, led to a major site tour visiting an array of career fields at Shaw.
Students learned about the various missiles carried by F-16 Fighting Falcons. Attendees then visited the fire station, where they were shown the capabilities of Shaw Air Force Base firefighters and their role on base.
The next stop was Explosive Ordnance Disposal, where students were shown a robot, designed to provide enhanced bomb disposal capabilities, as well as the Deployment Processing Center where students tried on Mission Oriented Protective Posture gear. The gear designed to protect the wearer’s skin from lethal gas, and is usually paired with a gas mask for breathing in a toxic gas environment.
“I thought this tour was super fun and interesting, and even though my parents work on base it expanded my knowledge of the base, and the jobs available,” said Briel Crespo, student.
Algood expressed her enjoyment in working with Allen and her counterpart, Mark Gillard, sub school work based learning coordinator, to close the gap between students who want to join the military by increasing their knowledge of possible job opportunities.
“I think it is really important the local community, civilians and the school children have an idea of what we do, how we support them and how they support us,” said Algood.
Allen expressed how important it is for Shaw to provide this opportunity to students who will soon make decisions about their future careers.