Tenant unit demonstrates training technology to future generations

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Marshall Shepherd
  • 372nd Training Squadron, Detachment 13
When an opportunity presented itself to impact the community, the staff at Detachment 13, a tenant unit offering in-depth training to aircraft maintainers of the F/A-22, A-10, HH-60, F-15 and MQ-1 platforms, jumped on this chance.

Det. 13 is part of the 982nd Training Group's 372nd Training Squadron, Sheppard AFB, Texas.

In addition to providing instruction on 134 courses, Det. 13 assists the base by providing tours of both the F/A-22 Raptor and MQ-1 Predator programs. In 2008, the detachment hosted tours for more than 90 distinguished visitors from around the globe.

Initially, one of Det. 13 Airmen, a member of the Henderson Home School Group, requested a tour for the children. The detachment leadership welcomed this opportunity. On Dec. 30, the Det. hosted 33 members of the Henderson Home School Group, including 24 children ages 10 and up, on a tour of its training facility.

"This is a great opportunity to show the next generation what we do," said Capt. Alviz Lacanilao, 372nd TRS Det. 13 commander. "It is important for today's youth to have an idea of what the U.S. Air Force does because the next generation of Airmen will come from their age group. I wanted to give them an overview of what we do and maybe give them another future career option."

The objective of this tour was to give the group an overview of Detachment 13's mission as it relates to the overall AF mission, which is to fly, fight and win. It was also meant to be fun and interesting for the kids.

"Thank you so much for the tour," said 14-year-old Rachel Hamburg. "It was the most interesting one that I've ever been to in my life. My favorite part was looking at the F-16 engine and learning about its air intake."

The tour included briefings, displays, computer-based aircraft simulations and hands-on experience with some aircraft components.

"I was so excited about going to the base, I couldn't sleep the night before," said 10-year-old Jonathan Hamburg. "When I saw the building that read 'Detachment 13,' I thought it was just an office building, but to my surprise it was so cool with all the guns and planes in it. My favorite parts were when we got to pick up the Predator and look at the F-16 engine."

The children showed a lot of interest throughout the visit; some even asked how they can join the AF when they are old enough.

"It all starts right here," said Tech. Sgt. Camden Stewart, 372nd TRS Det. 13 instructor. "There's no better feeling than shaping and molding our next generation, for they will be the ones taking our place in defending our nation in the very near future. You have to love that responsibility."