WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
The Airmen followed white arrows down a long hall and around the corner, listening to the tour guide enthusiastically talk about Air Force history. At the end of the arrows sat the expansive National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the beginning of a two-day tour for Airmen from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
Personnel from F. E. Warren organized a tour Sept. 4 and 5 to the museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio to learn about the history of the intercontinental ballistic missile and educate Airmen on heritage while promoting teamwork.
One of the main goals for this trip was to emphasize the need for teamwork and to show how it affects the mission. Throughout the museum tour, Dr. Doug Lantry, The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force historian, and Kyle Brislan, 90th Missile Wing historian, spoke on historical events that were shaped by excellent teamwork, such as the Doolittle Raid.
“Air Force teamwork is everyone coming together to do the mission,” said Capt. Brandon Burton, 90th Operations Group nuclear missile operator. “In the museum, we see the pilots and the planes they flew, and that’s what we remember. We remember the Doolittle Raiders. What we don’t see are the mechanics and support staff that came together to make that mission possible. They are what Air Force teamwork is all about.”
The four-hangar expansive museum is home to hundreds of exhibits across more than 19 acres of indoor viewing space.
The group was able to see aircraft such as the B-29 Superfortress named Bockscar, the B-17F Flying Fortress named Memphis Belle, and the VC-137C Air Force One (SAM 26000). Additionally, they visited the restoration hangar to learn about the preservation process and to see some of the aircraft under repair. Finally, the Airmen were able to see an Atlas missile not currently on display in the missile gallery.
Besides seeing unique aircraft from history, conducting heritage trips for Airmen may present a greater understanding of the Air Force’s mission and the teamwork it took to get us where we are today.
“History is amazing,” said Staff Sgt. Kayla Huntley, 90th Medical Group bioenvironmental technician. “It is always remarkable to find out where you started and how far you’ve come. Seeing everything the Air Force has done over the years to make us stronger, faster and better is incredible.”
Airmen who do not traditionally get to work together due to mission responsibilities were able to come together for a week, discussing the importance of working together and unit cross-talk.
The airmen also learned that in July 1954, the Western Development Division was established, and oversaw the development of the Air Force’s ICBM program and the first-generation liquid-propellant ICBMs. At the height of the Cold War, the Air Force maintained more than 1,200 ICBMs. Currently, Air Force Global Strike Command maintains a fleet of approximately 450 missiles at three military installations.