Scott Air Force Base News

Scott civic leaders tour MacDill, Tyndall

Scott civic leaders pose with the flight crew from the 906th Air Refueling Squadron while at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., before heading home after and two-day tour of Tyndall and MacDill AFB, also located in Florida. The tour exposed 18 civic leaders to Air Mobility Command’s global mobility mission and how AMC fuels the fight for our nation and allies.
Scott civic leaders pose with the flight crew from the 906th Air Refueling Squadron while at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., before heading home after and two-day tour of Tyndall and MacDill AFB, also located in Florida. The tour exposed 18 civic leaders to Air Mobility Command’s global mobility mission and how AMC fuels the fight for our nation and allies.

Through close coordination with units from MacDill and Tyndall Air Force Bases in Florida, a group of southern Illinois community leaders traveled more than 1,000 miles to get a glimpse of the capabilities wielded by the world’s greatest Air Force.

Leveraging the Total Force Association relationships maintained at Scott AFB, the 375th Air Mobility Wing transported 18 Team Scott honorary commanders to these installations with support from the 906th Air Refueling Squadron, which is aligned to the Illinois Air National Guard’s 126th Air Refueling Wing.

The 126th ARW provided airlift to share an unforgettable experience in learning how the Air Force enables rapid global mobility around the world, and how it fuels the fight 24-hours a day.

It’s one thing for us to share our story, but if those in the community see it first hand, they can also help communicate our message to those unfamiliar with how we operate. These influencers can share the messages about the issues facing the military today and in return can become great advocates for us.

Col. Laura Lenderman, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander

Escorted by 375th AMW Commander, Col. Laura Lenderman, Scott AFB civics began their Air Force education with a visit to MacDill AFB in Tampa, where they were hosted by the 6th Air Mobility Wing.

Like the 375th AMW, the 6th AMW at MacDill AFB is also under the authority of 18thAir Force and Air Mobility Command, and is responsible for maintaining constant mission readiness for the Air Force through unmatched aerial refueling and executive airlift missions. MacDill also supports two combatant commands and 31 other mission partners.

With a fleet of three C-37 Gulfstreams and 16 KC-135 Stratotankers, the 6th AMW is one of the Air Force’s premier installations for supporting the core missions of the global U.S. military effort. The Scott AFB civics saw these efforts firsthand and also received educational briefings from U.S. Central Command, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the 6th AMW’s own Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape unit.

“I found the entire experience to be very eye-opening. I never had the inkling of all the Air Force is engaged in. The Air Force does so much, in so many different ways to excel at their mission and to protect America,” said John Marquart, Village Administrator of Shiloh.

We couldn’t have had such success without the tremendous support of Air Mobility Command, the MacDill and Tyndall teams and the Air Force that sponsors programs like this. We definitely plan to keep doing these tours so we can continue to share our stories with the world.

Col. Laura Lenderman, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander

As part of an effort to show the community leaders what it is like to be an Airman in the line-of-duty, the civics were placed in one of the Air Force’s KC-135 pilot and boom operator simulators housed at MacDill AFB. They were tasked with carefully piloting a full-sized tanker aircraft through a takeoff and landing simulation, with the expectation of safely returning the aircraft to the runway. Results varied, but the experience gave the civics a glimpse into the pressures and challenges faced by Air Force pilots and boom operators every day.

Highlighting the day was meeting with Tampa Bay civics and learning the various ways in which their communities support the military there, while making connections for future endeavors.

The next day, Scott’s civic leaders climbed back aboard the KC-135 and flew to Tyndall AFB in Panama City, Florida. The mission was commanded by the 906th ARS Commander, Lt. Col. Don Landgrebe, and his crew comprised of active duty and Illinois Air National Guard Airmen stationed at Scott AFB.

“Getting the opportunity to meet with our local civilian leaders was an honor. The fact that I got to represent the ‘Mighty 906 ARS,’ showcase the talents of the 375 AMW, and share the exhilarating experience of air refueling with those who support Team Scott daily is absolutely mind blowing,” said Senior Airman Alberto Ayala, 906th ARS Boom Operator.

Upon arrival, the Scott civics were greeted by the 325th Fighter Wing Vice Commander, Col. Joseph Kunkle, though, the greeting was short-lived due to a prompt takeoff of two nearby F-22 Raptors and four T-38 aircraft belonging to the 325th FW.

With Tyndall AFB housing 55 F-22 Raptors, the most of any Air Force base, the visit didn’t lack in awe-inspiring moments. What followed, would be an up-close encounter with those same F-22 Raptors. After receiving an extensive background from the 43rd Fighter Wing, Scott’s civics were treated to a visit with the 601st Air Operations Center, whose primary role is to plan, direct and assess air and space operations for the entirety of the American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command.

“It was an incredible demonstration of air superiority unfolding in front of us,” said Lenderman. “Everyone appreciated seeing combat aircraft in action, and it’s definitely something we don’t see every day at Scott AFB.”

With Tyndall AFB housing 55 F-22 Raptors, the most of any Air Force base, the visit didn’t lack in awe-inspiring moments. What followed, would be an up-close encounter with those same F-22 Raptors. After receiving an extensive mission briefing from the 43rd Fighter Squadron, Scott’s civics were treated to a visit with the 601st Air Operations Center, whose primary role is to plan, direct and assess air and space operations for the entirety of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command.

Following the mission segment of the visit, the Scott AFB civics were hosted by Tyndall’s Military Affairs Committee during a luncheon organized by MAC Chairman Robert Carroll. Civics from both installations were able to see just how effective cooperation with public organizations can be to enhancing the goals of the Air Force.

“I really appreciate all Scott AFB did to make the trip so incredible. It was one of the coolest things I have done in my life,” said Dr. Lauren Hood-Olson, 375th Dental Squadron Honorary Commander.

I found the entire experience to be very eye-opening. I never had the inkling of all the Air Force is engaged in. The Air Force does so much, in so many different ways to excel at their mission and to protect America.

John Marquart, Village Administrator of Shiloh

After returning to the KC-135 for their flight home, the civics were elated to learn that they’d be given the rare opportunity to observe the aerial refueling of two of Tyndall’s F-22 Raptors on their flight back to Illinois through the “boom pod” located at the rear of the aircraft. While observing the in-flight refueling of the stealth air superiority fighters, Scott civics took one final peek at the incredible tasks Airmen are accomplishing to support Department of Defense efforts around the globe.

“I especially appreciate the experience of flying in the KC-135, seeing how the Scott mission supports air mobility, and discovering how that mission supports and interacts with other missions, like those of the 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall,” said Allen Adomite, Mayor of Troy.

Lenderman added, that Mayor Adomite’s personal coverage of the tour was also shown on the nightly news in Tampa.

“It’s one thing for us to share our story, but if those in the community see it first hand, they can also help communicate our message to those unfamiliar with how we operate,” Lenderman said.

I especially appreciate the experience of flying in the KC-135, seeing how the Scott mission supports air mobility, and discovering how that mission supports and interacts with other missions, like those of the 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall.

Allen Adomite, Mayor of Troy

“These influencers can share the messages about the issues facing the military today and in return can become great advocates for us. We couldn’t have had such success without the tremendous support of Air Mobility Command, the MacDill and Tyndall teams and the Air Force that sponsors programs like this.

“We definitely plan to keep doing these tours so we can continue to share our stories with the world.”

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