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Local high schoolers experience Air Force, Army up close during JBLE Mission Orientation Day

By Staff Sgt. Jason J. Brown 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

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Nearly 400 students from peninsula area high schools visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, May 29 as part of the installation's Mission Orientation Day, a program designed to introduce students to the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army missions and career opportunities available to them.

Students from schools ranging from Hampton to Williamsburg visited Langley Air Force Base and Fort Eustis, receiving tours of each base, where they met Airmen, Soldiers and civilians, who provided in-depth explanations and demonstrations of military equipment and operations.

Additionally, students had the opportunity to ask Service members questions about their jobs, and  better their understanding of life in the military.

At Langley, students from Hampton and Poquoson schools visited the 1st Fighter Wing to receive briefings about the wing's history and mission, while enjoying the rare chance to see the F-22 Raptor and T-38 Talon up close, even observing the F-22 Raptor demonstration flight, typically only available at air shows.

Elsewhere on Langley, the 633rd Security Forces Squadron introduced students to their weaponry and Military Working Dog capabilities, while Airmen from communications, civil engineering, medical and intelligence career fields explained how they apply principles of science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines, or STEM, into their mission, as most students visiting JBLE are part of STEM programs at their respective schools.

"Our Airmen were able to showcase their knowledge, skills and capabilities, and the students were able to see the principles they have studied all year in action," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Preston Goodrich, 633rd Force Support Squadron Manpower and Personnel flight commander. "It also gave the students an insider's view of what the Air Force does and how they can support or be part of it in their futures."

Meanwhile at Fort Eustis, students from Newport News, York County and Williamsburg learned about the mission of the "Army's navy," as Soldiers from the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary) showcased their port operations. Across post, other groups of students visited the 128th Aviation Brigade to see how the Army trains Soldiers to become rotary wing aviation maintenance experts. Soldiers at McDonald Army Health Center and Aviation Applied Technology Directorate also welcomed high school students into their work centers.

U.S. Army Col. William Galbraith, 733rd Mission Support Group and Army Support Activity commander, affirmed JBLE's commitment to educating local youth about the role the installation plays in supporting global missions while emphasizing the significance of STEM principles being applied throughout the force.

"This is not a recruiting pitch. We have military, civilians and contractors all networked together to make sure JBLE runs properly," he said. "We have STEM in everything we do. When you watch war movies, a lot of cool things happen, but consider the other pieces of military that work behind the scenes to make it run."

"This was a great way to give back to the community that supports our base and families," Goodrich added. "The day was a resounding success that only helped bring our community closer together."
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The current heat condition for Fort Eustis is Heat Cat 5 (Black flag) with a WBGT index at 91.1F as of 1248.