HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Cole Anderson tries on a helmet while sitting in a Humvee at the Tactical Air Control Party display during the Electronic Systems Center Showcase in the Aero Club Hangar Aug. 22. The showcase highlighted the global reach of ESC through displays and demonstrations from all the directorates, the 66th Air Base Group and Air Force Recruiting and was an opportunity to see how the work done here gets put in action for the nation’s warfighters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. - Tracy West, director of signature programs for the Red Sox Foundation and Mass. General Hospital Home Base program, takes aim during a visit to the 66th Security Forces Squadron display at the Electronic Systems Center Showcase at the Hanscom Aero Club Hangar Aug. 22. Robert Davis, U.S. Army Reserve Home Base veteran outreach coordinator, and Senior Airman Stephen Bartlett, 66th SFS, look on. The showcase offered attendees a chance to learn about ESC’s mission through displays and demonstrations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Wyatt)
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – A large crowd gathers in the Aero Club Hangar to learn all about programs from the Electronic Systems Center during the ESC Showcase Aug. 22. The entire Hanscom community was invited to the showcase during the day and community leaders attended the showcase later that night. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)
by Sarah Olaciregui and Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
8/26/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- A long line snaked around the Aero Club Hangar as men, women and children waited for a chance to walk through an E-8 Joint STARS aircraft parked on the flight line. Others walked around the hangar, eager to learn about the unique Electronic Systems Center programs during the ESC Showcase Aug. 22.
The showcase highlighted the global reach of ESC through displays and demonstrations from all the directorates, the 66th Air Base Group and Air Force Recruiting. It was an opportunity to see how the work done here gets put in action for the nation's warfighters.
For one attendee, John Coulston, the event was a chance for him to see how his direct work is used to support military members serving in Afghanistan.
He works for a company in Pennsylvania that makes parts for antennas. He just happened to be visiting a friend who works on base and she suggested they attend the showcase. While looking at the Tactical Air Control Party display, he recognized some antenna parts his company produces.
"We're a subcontractor for a subcontractor," said Mr. Coulston. "A lot of times we don't get to see how our antennas get put to use. It's really neat to see it here and talk to the people who use them."
Lt. Col. Brian Burns, Capabilities Integration's Cyber Safari Program chief engineer, brought his son Chase, and two of his friends, to the event. The kids had fun looking through night vision goggles, climbing in a Humvee and walking through the Joint STARS.
"I wanted them to see what we do on a day to day basis," he said. "This was well done."
Katherine Winn, who works in finance for the Battle Management Directorate's Mission Planning, also brought her young son, Jacob Bradshaw.
"This is amazing. It's wonderful," she said. "My son wants to see and do more."
But kids and parents weren't the only ones who felt it was a good idea for the base to host an event such as the showcase. 2nd Lt. Jareth Lamb, a Network Control Center-Deployed engineer who was a presenter at the Theater Deployable Communication program demonstration, also saw the value.
"We don't have fighter planes or a lot of flashy stuff at Hanscom," he said. "But what we do here is important. It's important to show what we provide to the warfighter."
The showcase was open to anyone who had access to Hanscom from 1 to 3 p.m. Then, community leaders had the opportunity to attend the showcase later in the day.
Representatives, selectmen and civic leaders from the local area all had a chance to learn about ESC's mission in a casual setting.
"This event was very impressive," said Denny Drewry, regional representative for U.S. Senator Scott Brown. "The capabilities you are able to provide for our fighting men and women are impressive and it makes me feel safer knowing the Air Force can provide these capabilities."
He also commented on the knowledge, professionalism and demeanor of the personnel working at the event.
"It was nice to meet the positive-thinking young Airmen working here and they were very all extremely courteous and helpful."
Throughout the day and night sessions, all attendees seemed to enjoy hearing about the work done at ESC. When departing, several community members even commented on how much they had learned and were glad they were invited to this special event.