114th FW showcases Air Force way of life

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Luke Olson
  • 114th Fighter Wing
The 114th Fighter Wing hosted a base tour for the cadets in the South Dakota State University ROTC program to give them a closer insight into the Air Force lifestyle here, March 19, 2015.

Col. Nate Alholinna, 114th FW vice commander, welcomed the cadets to the base and briefed them about the base mission and operations. The students then spent the evening touring the base and learning about the many roles and specialized fields that make up the South Dakota Air National Guard.

Air Force ROTC is a program structured with college courses that focus on developing leaders and preparing them for life as members of the U.S. Air Force. It's offered at more than 1,100 campuses across the country.

"Air Force ROTC Detachment 780's visit to the 114th Fighter Wing was a phenomenal experience for our cadets," said Capt. Daniel Beaudoin, AF ROTC Det. 780 operations flight commander and assistant professor of aerospace studies at South Dakota State University. "As one of their Air Force ROTC professors, I can talk about the Air Force all day long to them; but to actually afford them the opportunity to see and touch what they're learning about in class is quite a privilege and takes their learning to another level."

During the tour, the cadets had the opportunity to speak with pilots and Airmen in various career fields located throughout the 114th FW. They visited the Logistics Readiness Squadron, Security Forces Squadron, Maintenance Squadron, and finished up in the Operations Group where former SDSU ROTC pilots briefed them on aircrew flight equipment and the egress cockpit trainer.

"Hosting the SDSU Air Force ROTC cadets provides an excellent opportunity for them to experience a piece of everyday Air Force life," said Maj. Travis Schuring, 114th FW executive support officer. "It also gives them a chance to gain 'hands on' perspective of military operations, and ask questions of Airmen from a variety of career fields while showcasing the tremendous work of the members of the 114th Fighter Wing."

The pilots answered various questions about their pre-flight process as they prepped for their night training sorties. They explained to the cadets how to don a flight suit and let them try on some equipment. To cap off the tour, the cadets made their way to the flight line to observe eight F-16 Fighting Falcons takeoff during night flying training exercises.

"The cadets were floored by this tour and I think they learned a lot," said Beaudoin, who oversees the cadets training and recruiting at SDSU. "I believe this tour will positively impact their motivation to serve well in the world's greatest air, space, and cyberspace force for many years to come."