Joint Multinational Readiness Center Falcon Team hosts School Age Services
June 18, 2008
HOHENFELS, Germany -- Soldiers from the Joint Multinational Readiness Center Aviation Detachment welcomed nine little visitors from the Hohenfels School Age Services (SAS) program to Hohenfels Army Airfield for a whirlwind tour.
The Aviation Detachment, also known as the Falcon Team, gave students the chance to sit in one of the UH-1 helicopters and talk with some of the pilots and crew chiefs. Pilots answered questions about the helicopter, aviation equipment and being a pilot.
The class of five to 7-year-old children arrived at the airfield probably expecting a repeat of previous visits, but this time they were in for some surprises.
The first surprise was a visit to the Hohenfels Army Airfield Air Traffic Control tower. The SAS visitors got a chance to climb into the control cab at the top of tower and see things as an air traffic controller would and talk with some of the controllers on duty.
After the tower visit, the kids got to see a UH-1 "Huey" helicopter. Falcon team members helped the children get on and off the aircraft and answer their many questions.
Chief Warrant Officer Beorn Whetstone, a Falcon Team pilot, said the kids were all well mannered and were very interested in the aircraft.
"I was happy to be able to show the kids around the aircraft and answer their questions," said Whetstone. "You can really see it in there faces that they are genuinely interested and impressed."
Normally that would have been the end of the visit, but this time there was more. After the UH-1 tour, the children walked across the airfield and received a special tour of a Merlin, the British search and rescue helicopter.
The Merlin and her crew were part of a British contingent of soldiers conducting training at Hohenfels in preparation for deployment to Iraq.
The UK team graciously agreed to allow the little visitors to tour their aircraft. Mary Helbling, lead Child and Youth Program Assistant at the Hohenfels SAS, said the students and the staff enjoyed Falcon den visit.
She said both the SAS staff members and Falcon Team personnel helped keep the kindergarteners safe as the exciting events unfolded.
"The children totally enjoyed themselves along with the staff," Helbling said. "The Falcons were very prepared for them."
The two hour visit went by very quickly and before they knew it, it was time for the children to return to SAS. But before they left each child received a special sticker making them "Honorary Falcons."
"Thanks again for a great field trip here on post and thanks to the Falcon Team," said Helbling.