JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas. –
This past summer, the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland hosted 38 Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy from June 5 through Aug. 1, as a part of the Air Force Ops Program that exposes cadets to the enlisted force and daily Air Force operations.
“We brought the cadets in to show them the entire 37th Training Wing, what operations are like day-to-day and a little bit of what the enlisted experience is like at Basic Military Training,” said Master Sgt. Todd Maghamaz, 737th Training Support Squadron military training instructor.
The cadets spent a lot of time at BMT while seeing flights progress from zero week to graduation. They saw Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training, a BMT graduation parade,and met with squadron and group commanders for mentorship opportunities.
“It’s really important that they get to see what the troops they’re going to be leading go through,” Maghamaz said. “While I’m sure the Academy is really difficult as well, seeing BMT just adds a perception of what the enlisted go through. How are they supposed to lead if they don’t know what kind of training their troops have received?”
Part of building a perception of the enlisted experience, cadets also received mentorship from the best and brightest of the enlisted corps, the MTIs, Maghamaz said.
“The [non-commissioned officers] here have a lot to offer these future young-officers,” Maghamaz said. “We’re all Airmen and these military training instructors offered a lot of knowledge about what it means to wear the uniform that can’t be found anywhere else.”
In addition to building Airmanship, the Air Force Ops Program offered the cadets a peak at what daily operations are like at an Air Force installation said Maghamaz.
“They got to see a lot around the base,” Maghamaz said. “They got incentive flights from the 433rd Airlift Wing and got to tour 16 different units including cyber, intel, the military working dogs and just about everything else the 37th Training Wing and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland bring to the table.”
“They had a lot of fun and the Ops Program is something we look forward to every year,” Maghamaz said.