An Uplifting Event for Educators

  • Published
  • By Capt. Katherine Cherolis
  • 180th Public Affairs
On April 24th, 25 educators from the local community participated in an "Educator's Flight." The purpose of this event was to help enhance recruiting and community involvement for the 180th Fighter Wing. 

The event was organized by Captain Gary Bentley, 180th Fighter Wing Executive Officer, and Captain John Griffiths, 180th Fighter Wing Maintenance Executive Officer. The event functioned much like an Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve bosslift, with the difference being the target audience. Teachers, school counselors, principals and administrators from Toledo area schools were invited. 

The individuals who participated that day were very excited to not only learn about the 180th FW but to fly in the KC-135 to watch a refueling mission. Their day started with various briefings conducted by Lt. Col. Edgar Thompson, Vice Wing Commander; Master Sgt. Scott Waddle, Recruiting; Judy York, Family Readiness; and Lt. Col. Michael
Timbrook, Chief of Stan. Evaul. 

The educators were surprised to learn the scoope of the 180th missions, the number of people who support these missions and the benefits Airman receive as Guard members. Chris Adams, teacher, Toledo Public Schools, said she learned that the 180th and Air National Guard provided great opportunities for intercity kids to go to college and/or provide training on a useful skill. 

Following the briefings and a group picture, the group then walked out to the flight line and boarded a KC-135, flown by the 179th Air Refueling Wing, Columbus, OH. While in
flight the educators observed the aircraft refueling four 180th F-16's. 

Stacia DeRaedt, Board Member, Ohio Virtual Academy, said that seeing the 180th members working on the flight line and watching the refueling of the F-16's, makes the mission of the 180th and Air National Guard more realistic. This was a very productive way to see what the 180th accomplishes. 

Overall the event was very successful, with community educators having a greater appreciation of what the 180th does and what it provides not only to the community but to its members. Capt. Bentley stated that many of the participants had no idea that the 180th base was so large and had so many members. They were very impressed with the service we provide to our community and the Nation.

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