06/18/08 — Air power through the eyes of a child

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Air power through the eyes of a child

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 18, 2008 1:46 PM

Standing on the catwalk near the top of Wayne County's tallest building, Chris Barber had a perfect view of the 4th Fighter Wing's fleet of F-15E Strike Eagles.

But he is only 11.

So instead of counting jets like some of his classmates, he used his few minutes on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's air traffic control tower to locate something more familiar on the ground some 100 feet below.

"I'm trying to find a squirrel," he said.

A few steps away, Matthew Ryan probably had a better chance.

The 10-year-old was inside the tower, scanning the horizon with a pair of binoculars a member of the 4th Air Traffic Control Squadron passed him.

But if that airman was trying to show the boy some of the perks of being in the Air Force, he was slightly off target.

"Wow," Matthew said.