JROTC's Trip to Dover Air Force Base

On April 25, 2019, Mount Olive High School's Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) visited Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. This was the program's annual field trip, which is designed to enhance what is taught in the classroom, as well as introduce the cadets to new and unique experiences.

The cadets' first stop was to Dover's weather squadron where the on-duty Weather Technician, Master Sergeant Clark, explained how the weather directly affects flight in the region, as well as in deployed locations. His discussion dovetailed perfectly into this year's Aerospace lessons on weather where the cadets were able to understand the terminology and how it applied to flight.

From the weather station, the unit headed to the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) unit. The EOD technicians explained how their team is utilized within the local region to include direct support for the President, as well as their role in a deployed environment. They demonstrated multiple different explosive devises and even suited up a couple cadets in the bomb suit. Then, everyone was able to climb in and around their Humvees.

After safely exiting the bomb squad, Sergeant Brown, Staff Sergeant Jung, and Senior Airman Manning, from Dover's Security Forces' K-9 unit showed the cadets a military working dog's training session. The dog with the direction of his handler effortlessly handled every obstacle, which included staircases, cars, tunnels, and hurdles, which are used to prepare the dogs for all different types of situations. Lastly, the team demonstrated the dog's level of obedience through three attack scenarios.

The cadets' next stop on the tour was the aircraft structural repair unit where parts of the aircraft are sent in for the engineers to fix and repair. The cadets were able to see up close what was taught in Aerospace class of an actual slat and flap from a C-5 cargo aircraft's wing that the engineers were repairing. Additionally, those cadets who have had computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) at school were witness to direct application with the millions of dollars of machining equipment, along with painting, drying, and sanding booths, as well as multiple types of welding tools and plasma cutter.

The last group of Airmen the cadets were able to meet were an elite Security Forces team known as Phoenix Raven. This team's job is to provide security and protect the military aircraft, the personnel, and cargo when flying into high terrorist or criminal threat locations. The Ravens are specially trained in hand-to-hand combat and were able to demonstrate multiple scenarios. Afterwards, a dozen cadets were able to suit-up and use those technics against a simulated attacker who was fully padded for full contact use of a training baton. This gave the cadets a taste of the training these Airmen go through in order to become a Raven.

After a short stop at the Air Mobility Command Museum, the cadets loaded up for the drive home. On the ride home, cadets were conversing about their experiences at the base. Cadet/Technical Sergeant Abby Faluotico said that "I have a better idea on what my future could look like."

Cadet/1Lt Luke Bonfanti enjoyed the military working dogs and learned that in the Air Force "you have to be a police officer before you can even start school to be a dog handler."

Without a doubt, the trip to Dover AFB was worth it and the cadets left with a better understanding of Aerospace and how the Air Force operates.

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Flanders, NJ 07836
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