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Boy Scouts and Youth Group Tour Base

  • Published
  • By Wes Jones
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The 117th Air Refueling Wing had a special visit during the November drill weekend. There were two different groups in attendance for the visit. Boy Scouts with Troop 119 and 007 in Birmingham and a youth group from the Greater New Antioch Baptist Church in Ensley were here on base.

The age of the individuals on the tour ranged from 11-18 years-old. Recruiters from the 117 ARW showed them the basics of being an Air National Guard member and gauged their interest in joining in the future.

"During a recruiting conference, we learned that only about two percent of Americans actually knows about us and what we do," said Tech. Sgt. Todd Silvers about the importance to these types of visits. "It's always a great opportunity when we can organize a visit and educate young people about our unit.

The youth group and Boy Scouts toured the base and visited several different areas. Firefighters demonstrated a fire truck and some of the gear they use on base. Security Forces allowed each group inside the armory. According to most of those who were touring, the highlight of the visit came when each of them boarded a KC-135 aircraft.

"My favorite part was being on the plane and looking inside the cockpit," said Spencer Cary from the Boy Scout troop.

State Senator Linda Coleman attended the tour with the Greater New Antioch Baptist Church youth group.

"This is a great opportunity for our youth to see some of the opportunities out there that our military offers," said Coleman.

Sen. Coleman represents the 20th district of Jefferson County. She is serving her second term in the Alabama Senate, previously worked in the Alabama House of Representatives and served on the Birmingham City council.

The 117 ARW Recruiters played a major role in this tour. Master Sgt. Sheila Clingman was the main point of contact that planned the tour. Tech. Sgt. Gavin Blakely also played an important role in preparing and helping with the organization of the event. The recruiting office worked with several areas on base to make sure this visit was a success.