JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
The 433rd Airlift Wing hosted nearly 30 civic leaders with the Air Force Reserve Command’s 514th Air Mobility Wing from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, Nov. 29-30, 2016 here. The tour allowed civic leaders the opportunity to see the C-5 mission as well as the medical training facilities at JBSA-Ft. Sam Houston.
The civic leaders arrived on a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and were greeted by Col. Gregory Haynes, 433rd Operations Group commander. From there, the group headed to the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce where they met with the Military Affairs Committee.
The second day of the visit began with a mission brief by Col. Thomas K. Smith, Jr., 433rd AW commander. After the brief, the civic leaders traveled to the flight line to tour a C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft.
“I expected a very similar experience with the C-17 and seeing the C-5 it is vastly different,” said Jeffrey Mondelli, Wakefern Food Corporation pharmacy division manager.“I really didn’t understand what the necessity would be for having both airframes, but seeing it now, there are completely different functionalities for each operation.”
The tour then moved to the Medical Education and Training Campus at JBSA-Ft. Sam Houston where the civic leaders received a mission brief from Lt. Col. Melanie Ellis, director, Office of Strategic Planning and Partnerships. The civic leaders witnessed the joint training environment of the surgical technicians and occupational therapy students. In occupational therapy, instructors teach students how to perform basic tasks like cleaning and cooking with their injured patients. The group also got to witness a simulated surgery with a realistic human training aid that students practiced on.
“Like a lot of civilians, I thought I knew what the military did and what their sacrifices were, but you don’t realize how dedicated and efficient these Airmen are to our country,” said Fred Tecce a Fox News legal contributor.
From there, the tour moved to the Center for the Intrepid an outpatient facility under the command and control of Brook Army Medical Center. Civic leaders encountered a wide range of rehabilitation equipment and techniques doctors and physicians use to get the war-fighter back to active duty. Lori Leal, a secretary, and guide for the tour showed members the Firearms Training System (FATS), the Auto Motivation System (AMS), and Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CARE).
“While Texas and New Jersey may seem miles apart, the spirit of the people that support our Airmen and Wounded Warriors is deeply heartfelt,” said Col. David Pavey, 514th AMW commander. “This tour has been outstanding, and it’s great to see how we are facilitating getting our Wounded Warriors back in action and having fulfilling lives again.”