Ellsworth empowers future Air Force leaders

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Alejandra Angarita
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 28th Bomb Wing welcomed cadets from Air Academy High School located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Detachment 780 from South Dakota State University April 4 - 5, 2024.

Under the guidance of project officers Capt. Chandler Bauer, 34th Bomb Squadron assistant flight commander, 1st Lt. Ethan Frazier, 34th Bomb Squadron director of operations, and 1st Lt. Aaron Esparza, 28th Medical Group readiness flight commander, the visit highlighted the base’s diverse missions.

To commence the two-day event, the 45 cadets were greeted by 37th Bomb Squadron personnel, where they received an installation brief and learned about the B-1B Lancer and the 89th Attack Squadron’s MQ-9 Reaper. The cadets were led through various work centers, including the medical group and civil engineer squadron, to witness firsthand the vital functions supporting the mission.

“It is critical for the cadets to know how diverse the Air Force is,” said Esparza. “This tour allowed us to showcase our capabilities, show our Airmen in action, and provide mentorship, especially as they begin to weigh their future career options.”

During a lunch-time mentorship session organized by the Company Grade Officers’ Council, the cadets seized the opportunity to ask questions about the transition from being students to military leaders, gain understanding of career experiences and responsibilities, and receive counsel from officers who recently walked in their shoes.

Cadet Nathan Rombough from Detachment 780 said, “The base tour has given us the opportunity to see the local community from a different perspective. Experiencing the shift in culture as soon as you cross the main gate puts things into perspective and seeing all the Airmen play a role in the mission is a great experience.”

The tour ended with an interactive 28th Security Forces K-9 demo, where the cadets learned about the military working dog program and witnessed the indispensable role the canines play in base security. Some cadets even donned protective equipment and attempted to outrun MWD Lukas. In a matter of seconds, Lukas caught cadet Mason Gray by the sleeve, displaying their skill and training.

Before the cadets departed, Bauer left them with a piece of advice that resonated with him during his college years.

“The experiences you go through as students will serve you well as you mold to be a leader. Continue engaging and ask questions. Now is the time!” he said.

Base tours like this one align with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. W. Allvin’s commitment to nurturing innovative talent and fostering connection and empowerment within the Air Force.

For more information on base tours at Ellsworth, visit, https://www.ellsworth.af.mil/.