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62d AW hosts Team McChord Civic Leader Tour

The 62d Airlift Wing hosts the Team McChord Civic Leader Tour at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, and Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Feb. 7-9, 2023. Photo credit: Master Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes

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The 62d Airlift Wing hosted the Team McChord Civic Leader Tour Feb. 7-9, visiting Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, and Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

The goal of the Civic Leader Tour was to educate local civic leaders on the way the Air Force trains America's Airlift Wing Mobility Warfighters and show the different Air Force technical school training programs for C-17 Globemaster III pilots, maintainers, and loadmasters.

"The tour was absolutely more than I ever expected," said Mary Moss, City of Lakewood deputy mayor and 62d AW Honorary Commander. "We have no idea what the airmen go through; we only see the finished product. To see how the Air Force trains its airmen, it is truly educational and eye-opening. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the civic leader tour."

Seventeen civic leaders, including Team McChord Honorary Commanders and community partners, participated in the three-day tour, which involved flying on a McChord C-17, and visiting the Air Force's premier training installations for pilots, loadmasters and maintainers, who are all crucial to the 62d AW's mission of executing global mobility airlift.

"It was incredible to get to see the technical training tools that are evolving, and how it all fits together between the various Air Force bases," said Bo Brenneman, one of the Civic Leader Tour participants. "The steps the Air Force is taking to make training better, more efficient, and more effective are impressive."

Each of the training installations showed the different aspects of Air Force training programs.

Home to the Air Force's largest technical training wing, Sheppard AFB highlighted the training path for the Total Force Mobility Airmen. The civic leaders visited several facilities and observed airmen as they went through crew chief, propulsion and avionics training. They also saw how Sheppard AFB promoted innovation with its virtual reality learning programs.

Meanwhile, Columbus AFB, home to the 14th Flying Training Wing, promoted its mission, "Train World Class Pilots," and showcased how the wing conducts its undergraduate pilot training. The civic leaders received an opportunity to have a hands-on experience with aircraft simulators for the T-6A Texan III, T-38 Talon and T-1A Jayhawk.

Finally, Mobility's Hometown, Altus AFB, showed a glimpse on how it trains airmen to become C-17 pilots and loadmasters. Aside from C-17-specific training programs, the civic leaders also had an opportunity to see the cockpit and refueling boom simulators for the KC-46A Pegasus, the U.S. Air Force's newest tanker.

"The civic leader tour was an amazing experience," said Jaimie Garrett, 62d AW Honorary Command Chief. "To see how the Air Force trains these young men and women, I was really impressed. I appreciate Team McChord for the wonderful opportunity."

Brenneman echoed the sentiment and said it was an opportunity to see firsthand how the Air Force is preparing for the future fight and gain insight into the role U.S. airmen play in delivering total mobility in defense of the United States and its allies.

"I am quite sure that all of us in attendance came in with a deep appreciation for our service men and women but left with an even more gratitude and a desire to help support our airmen," he said.

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