On Monday, April 11th our class was invited to MacDill Air Force Base to take a tour and meet many of the honorable men and women who are stationed at MacDill. When we arrived, three airmen who flew on the Gulfstream 5, a plane reserved for the Generals and other high-authority figures, greeted us. I will be keeping their names private for security reasons. We all loaded onto a bus to take a “windshield tour” of the base, where we drove throughout the entire base. This was the first time I have ever been on any base and I was thoroughly impressed. After the “windshield tour,” we continued the tour to the flight simulator, a large simulator that resembles an exact interior of the aircrafts flown at MacDill. These simulators help pilots train in every situation possible, from engine fires to engine stalls to routine flights with takeoffs and landings.
From the flight simulator, we stopped off at the bases Post Office to meet and thank the postal workers who shipped our school supplies to Afghanistan. So far, we have shipped over 145 boxes of school supplies for the children in Afghanistan who are trying their best to get an education. After the Post Office, we visited one of the hangars to see and learn more about the aircraft that these honorable airmen were responsible for.
The tour continued to another hangar and we got to see exactly how the larger aircrafts at this air force base were maintained. The boom operator explained his job and showed us what he did on the plane. He is responsible for lining up the boom, a long pipe with a connector at the end, to the other planes to refuel in mid-air.
After the tour of the hangars, we were taken to Explosive Ordinance Disposal, better known as EOD. This was an extremely interesting part of the base. These guys are basically the bomb squad of the military and are not confined to just one specific military assignment. They are loaned out to many different parts of the military as they are in such demand. We were shown exactly what these guys are dealing with when out in a war zone. One of our classmates, Jordi, even got to try on the suit the EOD members wear while combating a bomb. The suit weighs over 85 lbs. not including the helmet. They wear these suits in temperatures reaching over 130 degrees. Wearing it for just a couple minutes, Jordi already started sweating.
This field trip to MacDill really increased my respect for the men and women who serve in our military. These three airmen thanked us for shipping the supplies to Afghanistan. I was speechless. I only wanted to thank them. They are the real heroes. I am grateful for the jobs they do each and every day to keep everyone here safe! It’s definitely not an easy job and I’m glad they are strong enough to do it. I will always have respect for the men and women who serve in the military.