05/07/07 — Leadership class tours Seymour Johnson AFB

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Leadership class tours Seymour Johnson AFB

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on May 7, 2007 1:47 PM

Members of the 2007 Leadership Wayne County class spent the day recently at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Participants spend one day a month learning about Wayne County.

Col. Paul Sykes, 916th Refueling Wing commander, greeted the class. Sykes talked about the wing's history and how the Base Realignment and Closure Commission decisions will help the wing expand by adding 250 additional airmen, a flight simulator and eight additional KC-135s to bring the wing's fleet to 16.

4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Steven Kwast told the class that the day's events demonstrated the strong relationship Wayne County has with SJAFB. "This experience symbolizes the team work between the community and our men and women in uniform," he said.

Class members flew on a routine training flight aboard a KC-135.Back on the ground, the class toured the 4th Fighter Wing's weapons load barn, where they got a close look at an F-15-E Strike Eagle.

Next, the class toured the SJAFB Rapcon and Tower. Class members learned how the Rapcon air traffic controllers monitor large radars to help direct aircraft safely. At the top of the 10-story tower, class members overlooked the base and watched tower controllers direct traffic.

The class also toured the base's new multi-million dollar state-of-the-art fire station. Firefighters then discussed their daily job responsibilities and how they not only answer emergency calls on base, but also assist area firefighters around Wayne County. The firefighters than donned their safety equipment, and demonstrated to the class how oxygen tanks work, how fire protective clothing keeps firefighters safe and how thermal imagery cameras can be used to find people trapped in a building.

The class wrapped up its day at the military police's K-9 kennel. The class learned how the dogs are trained, and how they are used to help maintain safety around base. The class also learned that the SJAFB K-9 units are working with other military branches in Iraq.

Leadership Wayne County is sponsored by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and area businesses. Its next event will be Arts and Leisure Day on May 11. The class is scheduled to graduate May 15.