JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
Leaders from the 502nd Security Forces and Logistics Support Group and the 502nd Installation Support Group participated in an immersion tour of the 12th Flying Training Wing Sept. 19 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.
The goal of the immersion tour was to familiarize the group leaders with the flying mission supported at JBSA-Randolph.
"It was a really well-organized and very informative event," Col. Michael Gimbrone, 502nd SFLSG commander, said. "Among other things, we were able to see firsthand how the local bird population and flightline conditions affect the flying training mission."
The group started the morning by taking a closer look at the white-winged dove habitat while learning more about JBSA-Randolph's Bird Air Strike Hazard prevention program and the tools used to divert large flocks of birds from flying into aircraft flight paths.
According to 12th FTW safety officials, birds are the largest threat to the wing's aircraft and the white-winged dove is responsible for more than $830,000 in damage from fiscal years 2012 through 2014.
"I've been doing air traffic control for 30 years and I've never seen so many birds as we're facing now," Gary Thompson, air traffic manager, said.
The group also had an opportunity to learn the various missions of the 12th FTW's three flying groups and maintenance directorate and visited the simulator complex, where pilots use different airframes in dry, wet and standing water flightline conditions.
"We want all the mission partners across Joint Base San Antonio to know that we're here to support them as best we can," Col. Alexander Smith, 502nd ISG commander, said. "We're only a phone call away."