Honorary commander amazed by tour

  • Published
  • By Ms. Debbie Alton
  • 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs honorary commander, Affinity Real Estate agent
Team Holloman recently hosted a tour for the participants in the Honorary Commanders program. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the day seeing the base, truly, for the first time, even though I have lived in Alamogordo for 15 years and have been out to the base many times.

This was an awesome opportunity to visit a variety of squadrons and be greeted by each commander as they gave us the red carpet treatment.

We visited the explosive ordnance division, the 8th Fighter Squadron, BEAR Base, the 49th Medical Group's Physiological Training Unit, the German Air Force headquarters and we got up close and personal with a Stealth fighter and a German Tornado.

At EOD, we were treated to a demonstration of their robot destroying a potentially dangerous package. The 49 MDG gave us a demonstration of their centrifuge after they showed a video of some previous riders. They show you the video first so you are positively sure you don't want a ride in this thing that exerts six G's on your body. This is definitely not a roller coaster ride at Six Flags. We also sat in the High Altitude Chamber, which simulates a flight to altitudes higher than heaven (also not a Disneyland ride, since your body doesn't have any manners at high altitude).

We also were able to watch the intricate inner workings of the air traffic at the 8 FS. These Airmen have scheduling and organizational precision to be envied.

At BEAR Base we got a first-hand view of how our Airmen are housed when they are deployed as we walked through the various tents and learned how they can purify any kind of contaminated water. This tour gave camping a new meaning.

At each squadron we visited I couldn't help but feel proud of my country as we listened to what each of these men and women do for us everyday. I was amazed at how much really does go on at the base everyday─it is so much more than just planes flying around. Each of these men and women displayed so much professionalism and dedication that I was humbled to be standing next to them. The more I learned about all the different missions at Holloman, the more I realized just how important these troops are to Alamogordo and to our whole country. I was reminded to follow this example and always do my best personally and professionally.

I couldn't tell you which place was my favorite visit because each was so amazing in their own right. But I will tell you that I spent the next day telling everyone I met that "I touched the Stealth!"