Monday, December 22, 2014

Computer programing and robotics students tour Fairchild communications squadron

by Staff Sgt. Samantha Krolikowski
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

12/19/2014 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Twenty-six local high school students toured the 92nd Communications Squadron Dec. 10, 2014, to see how computer programming and robotics are used in the Air Force.

Greater Spokane Incorporated offers both opportunities for computer programming and robotics seminars for students. They requested a tour with the 92nd CS to showcase 21st century cyber operations here.

"These students could be the future computer technicians of the Air Force; they are the ones who will take us to the next level of cyberspace operations," said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Kilmer, 92nd CS NCO in charge of server administration. "It's important for us to show them what we do in the military and how it relates to subjects they are interested in."

Members of the 92nd CS and 141st Communications Flight instructed 10th through 12th grade students on how the squadron members ensure software and IT hardware functionality, configure infrastructure critical to mission accomplishment, and secure Air Force systems from intrusion.

According to Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Russo, 92nd CS plans and resources flight chief, Airmen newer to the Air Force were chosen as briefers, not only to give them an opportunity to speak, but so the students could, "... hear from someone they could more easily relate to and to hear their experiences. These Airmen are acting as role models and are a positive influence for these students."

The students visited the communications focal point, knowledge management, radio frequency transmissions, network administration, network infrastructure, client systems team, information assurance and communication security offices. The students also saw a demonstration of the mobile giant voice and some of the robots used by the 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight.

"It's important to show these students the wide variety of missions a communications Airman can support," Kilmer said. "These students are interested in computer programming right now, but this tour showed them the many facets of communications including: networking, infrastructure, knowledge management, information assurance, radio, and plans and programs to name a few. This is important because it helps them realize that there is more to working in computers than just computer programming - there are so many different fields they could specialize in. And the bottom line is, if they want to be part of the cutting edge in cyber technology - there's no better service than the Air Force."

This tour was more than an opportunity for students to view an Air Force mission; it also falls in line with an Air Force diversity strategic priority.

"Attracting and recruiting the best and brightest future leaders, especially those interested in science, technology, engineering and math education, is important to the communications career field and the Air Force," said Maj. Jason Mayne, the 92nd CS commander. "At the beginning of the tour, only one student was interested in joining the armed forces. By the end, one-fourth of them were interested. That's a testament to the exceptional Airmen assigned to the 92nd Communications Squadron and the 141st Communications Flight, and the outstanding support we provide Fairchild."

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