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Airmen with the 58th Rescue Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., conduct a combat search and rescue demonstration at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., Nov. 4, 2011. The demonstration consisted of multiple squadrons from the 23rd Wing, headquartered at Moody AFB, Ga., working together to secure an area and retrieve a pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joshua Garcia)
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Airmen from Moody AFB visit cadets

Posted 11/14/2011   Updated 11/16/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Jarrod Grammel
23rd Wing Public Affairs

11/14/2011 - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Airmen from the 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., visited the cadets of Cadet Squadron 09 at the Air Force Academy Nov. 3-7 to provide mentorship and motivation.

Because Moody AFB is CS 09's sponsor base, Airmen from the 23rd Wing regularly visit the Academy, and cadets frequently accompany 23rd Wing Airmen on tours of their base.

"We learn a lot here but don't get to see much of the operational Air Force," Cadet 2nd Class Stephen Welling said. "I think it's important to hear about life after the Academy and to see there is a mission going on besides just classes, marching and regulations."

The group of mentors who visited the Academy included enlisted leaders, company grade officers and commanders. Maj. Sean Monteiro, the 75th Fighter Squadron's assistant operations director, said it was the wing's third trip.

"When I was a cadet there, we never got anything like this," said Monteiro, a 1997 graduate. "I think it is great to show them our mission and interact with them. We provided them with an operation perspective from (Airmen) who have been in the fight."

During the visit, Moody Airmen attended a dinner social with the squadron, lunch with the Cadet Wing, a question-and-answer session and a tour of the cadet campus. The trip also included a personnel recovery demonstration and a chance to talk to the rescue teams.

Lt. Col. Pat Boland, the 23rd Wing's director of staff, said there were two objectives to the visit: to demonstrate the wing's unique capabilities and to answer cadets' questions about the operational Air Force.

"There is an ongoing effort to mentor the future leaders of the Air Force," Boland said. "We also want to understand the generation gap. We want to see what they are doing right now and understand their questions and concerns to provide them with answers from current leaders."

Welling will apply for jobs in February and said he is currently thinking about a job as an air liaison officer, a combat rescue officer, a security forces officer or cross commissioning into to Army.

"The combat rescue officers told us it doesn't get much easier and to never give up," Welling said. "That was reaffirming to hear from young officers."

For cadets at the Academy, most of the operational Airmen they encounter are the officers who instruct the classes.

"The only enlisted Airmen we see are master sergeants and above," said Welling. "I was more nervous seeing a senior airman than a colonel because I had never seen one before."

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