Raiders showcase mission to area visionary leaders

  • Published
  • By Steve Merrill
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Twenty-one proactive leaders from various career fields across the Black Hills handpicked for the Elevate Leadership Institute converged on the 28th Bomb Wing to learn about the long-range precision strike mission being accomplished at Ellsworth Air Force Base, May 9.

ELI participants were able to get inside a B-1B Lancer, talk with aviators from the 34th Bomb Squadron Thunderbirds about their careers, listen to a presentation on the keys to effective leadership from CMSgt. Thomas Carpino, 28th Mission Support Group senior enlisted leader, and tour the Ellsworth RaiderWerx facility.

According to program staff, the ELI is designed to instill leadership qualities and perspectives that mold everyday actions. The program aims to attract engaged citizens from across the region and provide them with the background, unique experiences, and insights necessary to assume leadership positions in the community.

“Elevate Leadership Institute is comprised of our community’s future leaders,” said Rachel Nelson, ELI Program Director. “As people who will play vital roles in their respective fields, it is important we make sure they understand Ellsworth’s expanding mission. This visit gave participants the opportunity to learn and ask questions to ensure a strong community relationship and ongoing support of the base.”

Capt. Meaghan Barr, 34th BS B-1B weapons systems officer who helped host the visit, said the group was very engaging and interested in the aircraft as well as the work they perform.

“It was a fantastic group of enthusiastic people,” Barr said. “I enjoyed showing them the jet and talking about my job, career and the teamwork required to accomplish our mission. These types of tours are not only a great way to showcase who we are and what we do, but a great way to give back to those who support us.”

The final stop was a visit to RaiderWerx, an innovation hub that provides educational tools to introduce Airmen to entrepreneurship, connect Airmen to industry partners, like minded innovators, and rapid prototyping to streamline innovation so Ellsworth can respond to technological challenges easier than we have in the past.

“We wanted to provide them with an understanding of the incredible collaboration efforts the base has with the community and ensure they are aware of the ample opportunities they may not be fully aware of,” said Lorie Vega, 28th MSG Deputy for Installation Support. “As future leaders in our community, we feel it is important they know all that is available, and we hope to spur more creative ideas for future innovation projects that will benefit everyone."

To learn more about Ellsworth, visit: