David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron Tours Randolph AFB

Written by FO Hannah Baker     May 30th, 2015

Cadets receiving training from Airman Feliciano inside the hypobaric chamber at Randolph AFB. (Photo by C/SRA Hannah Baker)

  • Cadets at the top of the "Taj Mahal", a historic and distinctive building that houses the Air Force 12th Flying Training Wing at Randolph AFB. (Photo by C/SRA Hannah Baker)

  • Cadets and officers viewing a demonstration of the largest firefighting vehicle at Randolph AFB. (Photo by C/SRA Hannah Baker)


San Marcos, Texas — Cadets from the David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron recently had the opportunity to visit and tour Randolph Air Force Base, located in San Antonio, Texas. The squadron was able to take part in activities that new Airmen would experience as they progress through the United States Air Force.

The chilly weather and light rain made little impact on the excitement of the cadets as they began their tour of the base, headquarters of the Air Education and Training Command.

Air Force 2nd Lt. Nimmo acted as the guide for the group, starting the tour with a visit to the base fire station, home to the largest Civil Engineering Squadron in the Air Force. The cadets were allowed to see first-hand, led by Sgt. Kroeplin and Airman Maltais, the base's specially designed firefighting vehicles, some of which can spray water up to 300 feet at nearly 3,000 gallons per minute.

The cadets then headed to the Aerospace Physiology Lab, where they were able to experience a few of the training techniques used on new recruits. Airman Wooten began this part of our tour by briefing the cadets on the importance of training against certain hazards a pilot may experience during high-speed flight, such as hypoxia or the effects that "G's" might have on one's body. The cadets also learned that Randolph AFB has the busiest Physiology Unit in the entire Air Force.

Next, the squadron was escorted to a dark room where they were able to handle night vision goggles and learn how they function. Air Force Airman Freeman demonstrated to the cadets how different lights affect the goggles and explained the many different uses that our military has for them, ranging from simple communication to mission strategy.

Cadets were then allowed to enter a Hypobaric Chamber, or "The Steel Box", where Air Force recruits learn the importance of barometric pressure and how to fortify themselves against the effects. Cadets did not get to "de-pressurize", however, they did get to strap in and listen to Air Force Airman Feliciano's presentation on the intricate training process.

The last visit in the Aerospace Physiology Lab was to the "Barany Chair." Airman Rodriguez allowed Cadet 2nd Lt. Lockett, Cadet 2nd Lt. Baker and Cadet Senior Airman Baker to individually strap into the chair and experience what the effects of constant, one-way motion has on one's brain and inner ear system. The aftermath included uncontrollable eye movement for both Cadet 2nd Lt. and Cadet Airman Baker as well as a hurt nose for Cadet 2nd Lt. Lockett; however, the dangers this could cause to a pilot far exceed anything they experienced.

"It felt strange," Cadet 2nd Lt. Lockett commented. "When I threw my head back as instructed, it felt as though I were falling forward."

After eating lunch at the Randolph mess hall, the squadron was able to attend the Freedom Flyers Reunion Ceremony and then tour the historic "Taj Mahal". Wrapping up, cadets were given a demonstration by the K9 Dog Exposition, led by Sgt. Bernal, Sgt. Patton, and their Belgian malinois named Voo-Doo.

The squadron's trip to Randolph AFB was a learning experience that none of the cadets will quickly forget and solidified a respect for our Armed Forces that can only continue to grow.


About Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force's Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol's 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.

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Contact Information

Lt. Col. Ron Diana, CAP
Squadron Commander & Public Affairs Officer
David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron, SWR-TX-435, Texas Wing
(512) 710-8435 | cc@texhillcap.org

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