MARTINSBURG, W.V. --
Fifty members of the Virginia and West Virginia Civil Air Patrol wings recently took wing on a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, thanks to the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.V.
Col. Shaun Perkowski, installation commander, met with the Civil Air Patrol members before the flight launched, thanking them for their volunteer service and discussing his U.S. Air Force career. Capt. Jacob Bixler, deputy commander of the Virginia Wing’s Winchester Composite Squadron, presented Perkowski with the wing’s coin as a token of appreciation for his approving the flight.
The immense cargo plane departed from the base and flew deep into southern West Virginia before looping back around to Martinsburg. Cadets were permitted to walk around the plane and also got to sit briefly in the cockpit and chat with the pilots during the flight.
A select few cadets experienced the takeoffs and landings from the cockpit, as the pilots conducted tactical landings for training.
After landing, the group enjoyed lunch in the dining facility while listening as the base’s fire chief, Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Gengler, and its command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Glazer Sr., shared their experiences in the Air National Guard. Various units from the installation also presented table displays on their career fields’ duties and responsibilities. Chief
“Seeing our nation's future leaders in the room gave me pause, as the cadets listened to my words of encouragement for them to succeed,” Glazer said afterward.
“Moments like these are precious to me. I'm able to show off our wing while trying to influence young men and women as they consider military service as a possible career and a path to pay for college.”
Various cadets said the visit and flight were their favorite activity all summer. Others ranked it as one of their best experiences in CAP so far.
Bixler, who helped coordinate the activity, serves with the 167th as a cyber transport apprentice and base communications planner in the 167th Communications Flight.