Broadening cadets horizons

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Culeen Shaffer
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

The morning of March 30, 2017, 21 York Central School District Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets filed off of a yellow school bus to have their horizons broadened by Airmen of the 193rd Regional Support Group.

The 148th Air Support Operations Squadron was their first stop on a tour of Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pennsylvania. While there, they used the joint terminal attack controller training simulator and checked out other equipment used by the joint terminal attack controllers.

AFJROTC Aerospace Science Instructor Chief Master Sgt. Frederick Sandacz (ret.) said, “the tour is better than opening a book or looking at a pamphlet, it gives them a real look at what they do.” He said that the Air National Guard is the best kept secret because you can stay close to home, while still serving in the military.

The cadets climbed back on to the bus, chattering about what they just experienced and about their next stop on the tour.

Meeting up with Coatesville Area School District AFROTC cadets at the Bollen Air-to-Ground Weapons Range Complex to watch JTACs call-in A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft, was the next stop on the tour. Afterwards the two groups separated, ate lunch and continued on with their tour to other stops planned for them.

This tour couldn’t happen if it wasn’t for prior planning; gathering contacts for the different entities, planning out travel times between areas, keeping everyone involved on the same page with the timeframes and factoring potential issues factored into the planning. Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Suspic, 201st RED HORSE supply technician was the project officer for the tour.

Suspic said, “to reach out to possible future recruits is extremely important considering they are the future of the armed forces. The more firsthand experience that cadets have to see what is done in support of our country on this installation the better.”

The day was full of opportunities; opportunities for Airmen to volunteer to broaden the horizons for young cadets and for cadets to experience firsthand what future opportunities there are in the Pennsylvania National Guard.