JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C., –
While school is out for most college students, Operation Air Force is just beginning for 18 Air Force cadets visiting Joint Base Charleston, S.C., from June 2-15, 2015.
Cadets from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Col., and Reserve Officer Training Corps programs from across the United States traveled to JB Charleston. They will spend two weeks at the base learning about the mobility mission and becoming familiar with the units vital to meeting the mission.
"Operation Air Force is a program in which cadets are exposed to a real-world Air Force base environment while letting them see how base components work together to achieve the mission," said Maj. Michael Chavarria, 628th Logistics Readiness Squadron and Operation Air Force project officer. "The objectives are to enhance cadet understanding of operations and support functions; provide hands-on experience in both operations and support units; expose cadets to a variety of Air Force Specialty Codes; and enable cadets to interact with senior noncommissioned officers, Department of Defense civilians, field grade and company grade officers."
For Cadet 2nd Class Isaac Reinert, a rising junior at the United State Air Force Academy, Operation Air Force provides the cadets with an opportunity to get a feel for what daily life in the Air Force is like and allows them to see first-hand what the different career fields have to offer.
"We've seen the fire department, we've seen the communications squadron and we're getting ready to visit the medical group," he said. "We haven't gotten our AFSC's yet, so we're getting a feel for what we want to put on our dream sheets."
Reinert said this trip has opened his eyes to other potential career fields.
"Going into the academy I wanted to fly but, especially after being here, I am leaning more toward the business sides of things, as far as contracting, acquisitions," he said. "We visited the contracting squadron which was really interesting to me."
While Reinert and his fellow cadets still have quite some time until they graduate and are commissioned as second lieutenants, Chavarria hopes this visit provides them with a better idea of what Joint Base Charleston and its different missions bring to the table.
"I hope they walk away with a better understanding and appreciation of how each individual and AFSC contribute to creating mission success," he said. Their interaction across the installation highlights the diversity and teamwork of different functions vital to ensuring success of the global mobility mission."
Each Operation Air Force session runs for two weeks. The base is scheduled to host two more groups of cadets with next group arriving June 23 and the last sessions starting July 14.