Scouting out the Hercules

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead
  • 103rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
Cub Scouts from Troop 18 in Killingworth, Connecticut arrived at Bradley Air Nation Guard Base in East Granby, Connecticut for a special tour of a C-130H Hercules aircraft, assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing, on Aug. 4, 2014. The small troop of approximately ten children was allowed a unique opportunity to walk out to the flightline and see firsthand the unit's new mission.

"It's good when anyone comes out. We enjoy doing this," said Staff Sgt. Daniel Haynes a loadmaster with the 118th Airlift Squadron.

These types of tours are a way for the 103rd Airlift Wing to showcase the new mission and let the civilian world experience the day-to-day operations of the military.

"I know when I was a kid, and not-knowing about the Air Force, it was nice to come and see things," said Haynes. "That's partly why I'm here today."

The tour of the C-130H included a chance to sit in the pilots' seats and the opportunity to put on aviation helmets and loadmaster harnesses to see what it's like to be a loadmaster. These harnesses are used by the loadmasters to secure them within the aircraft when pushing pallets of equipment and supplies out of the cargo bay during air drops.

Kurt Schemmerling, a parent with Troop 18, coordinated the event and said that he thinks doing events involving aviation, or with the fire departments and police departments, is important and influential for the kids.

In an anecdote, Schemmerling explained why he is so passionate about getting kids involved in hands-on tours. He recounted a story that was told to him when he asked an older gentleman from his community, "Why did you decide to become a pilot?"

The response, said Schemmerling, was, "I'm a pilot today because somebody took the opportunity to bring in a helicopter to my school back in 1950 and I never forgot it. I was eight years old and from that day forward I wanted to do nothing else but go in the military and become a pilot."

It is important for the youth to realize that there are opportunities out there in aviation and the best way to do that is through exposing them to those different things, said Schemmerling.