AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar -- Since 2011, the partnership between the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and the American School of Doha has been thriving, with airmen providing volunteer services to the school for a variety of activities. On March 10, 2014, the 379th AEW hosted a field trip to Al Udeid Air Base for students, showcasing the variety of careers available to airmen.
This was the ASD's third annual 8th grade field trip to the 379th AEW, bringing around 150 students on base to see how airmen live, where they work and what they do. Stations were set up for the students to rotate through various career fields, allowing them the opportunity to have hands on demonstrations and ask questions of the airmen working in that field. Stations included fire and emergency services, medical response, security forces weapons display, emergency management, explosive ordinance disposal, tactical vehicles display and the popular K9 military working dogs demonstration.
Senior Airman Joel Williams (right) demonstrates the use of a Remotec ANDROS F6A heavy-duty robot during the American School of Doha's third annual 8th grade field trip to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Mar. 10, 2014. The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing hosted a field trip for students showcasing the variety of careers available to Airmen. Staff Sgt. Tammy Cassidy (left) escorts students during the visit and highlights the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Miller)
"One of the best things about attending an international school is being able to participate in trips and activities that would otherwise be inaccessible to students in their home countries," said Rob Gohr, ASD Middle School Associate Principal. "The chance to visit the air force base in Qatar is an incredible opportunity to see firsthand that not only are these service men and women knowledgeable, hardworking, and dedicated, but also friendly and courteous. Our hope is that our students come away with a more accurate perception of what the military is really like."
The relationship between the school and the wing is a direct result of the private organization on base known as Jar Saleh (Arabic for 'Good Neighbor'), which is an organization dedicated to providing volunteers for the local community; ASD being one of the biggest recipients of volunteer hours from military members on AUAB.
"Many of the wing's command sponsored families attend ASD so we have a strong connection to the local community and want to be good neighbors," said Capt. Megan Kahn, the 379th AEW Command Sponsorship Program manager and school liaison officer.
Kahn, a native of Keller, Texas and deployed from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. commented this event allowed the wing to show its commitment to the long-lasting relationships in Qatar.
As the children enjoyed their lunch, the finale for the day was a top notch performance by the Air Forces Central Command band, Hypersonic.
"I feel that music is a universal language," said Technical Sgt. Amber Grimes, lead vocalist for Hypersonic deployed from Yokota Air Base, Japan and a Columbus, Ga. native. "We enjoy seeing the tears, listening to stories, hearing the laughter and voices of beautiful children, and to leave a place knowing that we have made a difference and touched the hearts of many."
The AFCENT band played for 45 minutes and not only invigorated the kids with their performance, but also boosted morale and helped build camaraderie with the deployed airmen. Hypersonic performed seven songs that got the children and airmen singing and dancing along and was a great ending to a day of learning and relationship building.
It is a win-win situation according to the president of Jar Saleh, 1st. Lt. Equaosa Iduwe, deployed from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. and a Duncanville, Texas native.
"It is like an old African saying, 'A home is not truly full of joy without the laughter of children," He said. "This is our home for several months and it fills our hearts when we can interact with children because most of us have left our children behind to serve here."
According to Gohr, he heard one student say at the end of the day, "This was the best field trip ever!" That is a win-win - mission accomplished, Gohr added.
By U.S. Air Force courtesy story
Provided through DVIDS
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