IUK students get hands-on with Grissom emergency management

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Harrison Withrow
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

Students from Indiana University Kokomo visited Grissom Air Reserve Base Oct. 17, 2018, for an educational tour introducing them to the various departments involved in Grissom’s emergency management. They were given the opportunity to meet with members of the 434th Security Forces Squadron, the Grissom Fire Department, and the 434th Civil Engineer Squadron’s explosive ordnance flight and learn how Grissom responds in times of crisis.

Robert Wydock, 434th Mission Support Group installation deputy emergency manager, helped organize the tour and showed the group around the base.

“We wanted to familiarize the students with some of the things that they were studying, but rather than being from a local or community viewpoint, we gave them a look at how the federal government does things,” said Wydock. “I think it’s important to highlight those differences, and we like to show off our cool toys, too.”

The Emergency Management office provides support to various departments throughout Grissom, ensuring that the base is prepared should disaster strike.

“More than anything else, we provide knowledge,” said Wydock. “There are not enough specialists in our office to handle every possible crisis that might come up, but we have the knowledge, specialized equipment and experience to help the other members of our community prepare for, get through and recover from any critical incident.”

Doug Preece, 434th Operations Support Squadron quality assurance specialist, works part time as an adjunct professor at IUK, and initially suggested the idea of bringing the students in.

“The emphasis on Emergency Management, SFS, EOD and the fire department provided a frontline perspective to students that we could not have given them in the classroom,” said Preece. “The demonstrations provided by each shop was first class, as usual.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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