Student Flight Gets Schooled
By Master Sgt. Douglas Daponde, Retention NCO, 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published December 07, 2008
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- "ARE YOU EYEBALLING ME?!" "NO, SIR!" these are phrases most of us remember as new recruits during our initial moments getting off the bus at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
On November 2, 2008, Barnes was host to Tech. Sgt. Brian Simeone, a Massachusetts reservist from Framingham Mass. Tech. Sgt. Simeone is currently a Civil Air Patrol Liaison NCOIC and former Military Training Instructor (MTI) at Lackland, AFB. Tech. Sgt. Simeone volunteered his time and talent to address the Student Flight members. "What you are about to learn is invaluable information that 99% of the recruits are not privy to", Sgt Simeone started out saying.
The former Military Training Instructor, donning his Smokey Bear hat took on the demeanor of a protective father figure rather than the screaming nightmare machine that most of us remember. Calm, cool, and collective was the tone that Tech. Sgt. Simeone displayed during his 5 hours on base.
The goal of this training was to give these new recruits a heads up as to what to expect during their stay at Lackland, and why the training is laid out as it is. Tech. Sgt. Simeone started with a slide presentation addressing the new 8.5 week course that began on November 5th, 2008. He explained to the student flight members that with today's challenges that Airmen are facing the Air Force needed to revamp basic training to produce "global airmen". Airmen are ready to deploy at a given notice and will have the training to contribute to the overall mission.
Student Flight members had the privilege to eat lunch with the MTI, something I believe that none of us would be too comfortable with even today. Once lunch was over, we went to the Army Aviation facility so that Tech. Sgt. Simeone could teach a few basic facing movements and marching techniques. Before we knew it Tech. Sgt. Simeone had the members outside marching up and down the parking area. It seemed like he had flashbacks himself as he was barking orders to control the flights movements. Those of us watching could not help but be caught up in the moment and did not want to get in his way.
Tech. Sgt. Simeone not only addressed the 104th student flight members but the 102nd student flight members as well. This was the first integrated training event between the two student flight programs in the state and it will not be the last. The 104th Student Flight is looking to drill at Otis ANG in the second quarter of the calendar year. This will be an overnight adventure in which we will challenge the student flight by the tackling obstacle course and partaking in team building exercises. Utilizing the National Guard facilities at Camp Edwards we will be able to integrate our training between the two wings.
Maj. Mendoza, 104th Mission Support Flight Commander and Officer in charge of the Student Flight would like to extend a hearty thank you to Tech. Sgt. Simeone for his commitment to the MA ANG and we plan to have him involved in our curriculum as long as he is willing.