Employer Appreciation Day
Wow! I had such an amazing adventure last weekend! I took flight in a C-130 and took a tour of Peterson Air Force Base!!! Wait, what did you say? Okay, let me explain how I got this opportunity and then tell you all about it.
A member of the Melinda McCaw Media team is in the Air Force Reserve, the 302nd Airlift Wing. The Air Force Reserve puts on an Employer Appreciation Day. This year he nominated me for it I was invited down to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs for the day. It sounded really fun. I was in for sure!
The whole experience was really fun and of course the highlight of the day was the flight in the C-130. During the flight we circled around Pikes Peak and then went down and over the Royal Gorge.
We started the morning learning from different commanders about the Air Force Reserve and how it works, what its mission is and how we can support the air force reservists that we employ. Finally it was time to go check out the C-130 and take flight.
The C-130 is designed as a cargo, troop and medevac transport plane. It was designed by Lockheed Martin and in the 1950’s entered into service.
Airborne in a C-130!
Upon arriving at the runway we boarded the C-130 from the back of the plane through the cargo door. As they prepared to take off we were allowed to take pictures and look around. We all found our seat in the jump seats that lined the outside walls and the middle of the cargo space in the plane. They started up the plane and we put in ear plugs as the plane is very loud. It was really neat to feel the power of the plane during take-off.
Once they felt it was safe we were allowed to get up, walk around, look out the windows and take pictures. Even when they felt it was safe it was nice to hold onto something as I walked around. There was still quite a bit of turbulence. At times it was quite bumpy and hard to stay upright.
The other cool thing we got to do during the flight was go up into the cockpit. In the cockpit they gave us headphones to put on allowing us to listen in to the flight crew’s conversation. From the cockpit was the best view. We were near Pikes Peak when I got to go in the cockpit. The view was amazing.
A little later in the flight after everyone visited the cockpit we all strapped back into our seats and they opened the back cargo door during flight. The load master in the back of the plane put on a harness and strapped himself to the plane, opened the cargo door and stood as far out as he could. I was too far back in the plane to see the details outside of the door. I was told that they opened it as we went over the Royal Gorge.
Following your C-130 flight we were provided with lunch and a time to visit. After lunch we were given a tour of the rest of the base. The tour included the MAFFS Unit, the area where they pack cargo to be dropped to different areas and the medevac team as well.
The MAFFS Unit tour was my favorite tour. MAFFS stands for Modular Airborne FireFighting System. The National Forest Service owns 8 MAFFS units. These units fit in the cargo area of the C-130 and are used to lay down a 1/4 mile strip of fire retardant to help create a fire barrier for the crews on the ground fighting the fire. When the commercial firefighting units are all busy and unavailable to help the National Forest Service calls upon the Air Force Reserve to come help. It was really cool to see the unit and learn how it works.
Photos from the adventure
Here are some photos from the adventure for your enjoyment.
The day was really fun and I enjoyed learning more about the Air Force Reserve and what they do. To learn more about what we do here at Melinda McCaw Media check out our portfolio of work.