Des Moines, Iowa --
39 cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Squadron 29 from Colorado Springs, Colorado visited the 132d Wing in Des Moines, Iowa, September 16-17, 2017 as part of an Iowa National Guard tour.
The cadets also visited the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, Iowa and Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa.
The cadets received mission briefings from the different groups around base and also learned about the Air National Guard’s duel state and federal mission sets.
“It’s very important for them to be able to understand and experience the Air National Guard and Reserve so that they’ll have a better appreciation for what they do and how they operate once they’re officers,” said Maj. Jamie Johnson, air officer commander of Cadet Squadron 29.
Johnson also said tours of ANG bases and missions help bridge and strengthen the understanding of the total force and how they work together.
The tour revealed a completely different side of the Air Force to which many cadets had little to no knowledge of Air National Guard and Reserve.
“It’s amazing to learn what a major role they play in the Air Force and in the total force,” said Victor Lee, the Cadet Squadron 29 class leader. “The expertise the Air National Guard Airmen have in their career fields is unbelievable.”
Throughout the tour, the cadets partook in demonstrations of the various ANG missions, including KC-135 Stratotanker operations, C-26 Metroliner counter drug operations, cyber warfare hacking defense, domestic operations capabilities and intelligence targeting simulations.
The cadets also had the opportunity to meet and have dinner with the adjutant general of Iowa Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Orr at Camp Dodge. There, they visited the Iowa Gold Star Museum which showcased the fighting heritage of Iowa Guardsmen past and present.
The Air Force Academy and the Iowa Air National Guard look to continue working together to educate the officers of the future.