JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Many children outside of the Air Force, Army, Marines or Navy don't get the opportunity to experience the jobs and troops at a military installation first hand, but that wasn't the story for one group of students.
Joint Base Charleston's Airman Leadership School invited more than 30 third grade students from Memminger Elementary School to tour the base Dec. 8.
This tour, part of an on-going community service project from ALS, helps bring awareness to the opportunities Air Force has to offer.
Each third-grade student was paired up with an ALS student, their "buddy." After the pairings, the students were split into three groups to view different sections of the base.
The tour allowed the students to board one of JB Charleston's C-17 Globemaster III and witness the 628th Security Forces Squadron military working dog training in action. They also had the chance to visit the 628th Explosive Ordnance Disposal shop where they operated bomb-disposing robots and sat in a high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle, also known as a Humvee.
When the senior commandant asked the students about their favorite part of the day, there was a mixture of "the airplanes!" and "the dogs!"
"These children don't get to look forward to these kinds of things often," said Senior Airman Joel Yerkey, ALS student from the 628th Contracting Squadron. "This is something they can really remember."
At the end of the tour, the children were presented gifts from the members of the ALS class.
"I am so proud of Team Charleston. Today was a true example of total force intergration, which is something we teach here at ALS," said Senior Master Sgt. Michelle McMeekin, 628th Force Support Squadron ALS interim commandant. "An event of this nature is so important to our Airmen so they can see our lessons come to life as well as giving them an opportunity to experience first-hand the various missions JB Charleston has."
For the children, the event provided a chance to learn about military life and history. For the Airmen, it was an opportunity to mentor and give back to the local community.
ALS is a five-week long United States Air Force program designed to develop Airmen into effective front-line supervisors. It is the first professional military education that enlisted Air Force members encounter. ALS focuses on developing leadership abilities as well as effective communication.