News

Military spouse appreciation night sheds light on wing mission

Chelsea Day, wife of Capt. Michael Day with the 55th Operational Support Squadron, pilots an Operational Flight Trainer simulator as part of a Spouse Appreciation Night held Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The OFT3 simulator provides realistic flight training for pilots prior to piloting the different aircraft at Offutt AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Chelsea Day, wife of Capt. Michael Day with the 55th Operational Support Squadron, pilots an Operational Flight Trainer simulator as part of a Spouse Appreciation Night held Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The OFT3 simulator provides realistic flight training for pilots prior to piloting the different aircraft at Offutt AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Capt. Tim Kenny, Chief of Central Flight Instructors Course with the 338th Combat Training Squadron, answers questions from military spouses touring an RC-135 Aircraft parked in a hangar of the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility as part of Spouse Appreciation Night, Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. This was the first, of many, wing spouse tours.  The tour itinerary began with a briefing followed by a state-of-the-art flight simulator and ending with an aircraft tour. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Capt. Tim Kenny, Chief of Central Flight Instructors Course with the 338th Combat Training Squadron, answers questions from military spouses touring an RC-135 Aircraft parked in a hangar of the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility as part of Spouse Appreciation Night, Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. This was the first, of many, wing spouse tours. The tour itinerary began with a briefing followed by a state-of-the-art flight simulator and ending with an aircraft tour. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Angela Shermer, wife of Lt. Col. Rich Shermer, commander of the 55th Intelligence Support Squadron, sits at a work station in the fuselage of an RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft located in the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility as part of Spouse Appreciation Night, Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The tour itinerary began with a briefing followed by a state-of-the-art flight simulator and ending with an aircraft tour. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Angela Shermer, wife of Lt. Col. Rich Shermer, commander of the 55th Intelligence Support Squadron, sits at a work station in the fuselage of an RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft located in the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility as part of Spouse Appreciation Night, Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The tour itinerary began with a briefing followed by a state-of-the-art flight simulator and ending with an aircraft tour. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Spouses of military Airmen exit the Operational Flight Trainer simulator, as part of a Spouse Appreciation Night held Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The OFT3 simulator provides a variety of realistic simulations to test new pilots and navigators prior to flying a real RC-135 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Spouses of military Airmen exit the Operational Flight Trainer simulator, as part of a Spouse Appreciation Night held Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The OFT3 simulator provides a variety of realistic simulations to test new pilots and navigators prior to flying a real RC-135 aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Capt. Tim Kenny, Chief of Central Flight Instructors Course with the 338th Combat Training Squadron, talks with military spouses prior to exiting a bus for a static tour of an RC-135 Aircraft parked in a hangar of the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility as part of Spouse Appreciation Night, Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. This was the first Wing Spouse Appreciation Night with future tours being scheduled. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Capt. Tim Kenny, Chief of Central Flight Instructors Course with the 338th Combat Training Squadron, talks with military spouses prior to exiting a bus for a static tour of an RC-135 Aircraft parked in a hangar of the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility as part of Spouse Appreciation Night, Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. This was the first Wing Spouse Appreciation Night with future tours being scheduled. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Spouses associated with the 55th Wing get a static tour of an RC-135 Aircraft parked in a hangar of the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility as part of Spouse Appreciation Night, Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Spouses of both officers and enlisted Airmen from various squadron participated in the first appreciation night.  Future tours are already being slated for future dates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Spouses associated with the 55th Wing get a static tour of an RC-135 Aircraft parked in a hangar of the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility as part of Spouse Appreciation Night, Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Spouses of both officers and enlisted Airmen from various squadron participated in the first appreciation night. Future tours are already being slated for future dates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Capt. Tim Kenny, Chief of Central Flight Instructors Course with the 338th Combat Training Squadron, gives a briefing to military spouses as to the overall mission of the 55th Wing during a Spouse Appreciation Night held Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Following the briefing, spouses were given the chance to pilot a flight simulator before getting to tour one of the aircraft associated with the wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

Capt. Tim Kenny, Chief of Central Flight Instructors Course with the 338th Combat Training Squadron, gives a briefing to military spouses as to the overall mission of the 55th Wing during a Spouse Appreciation Night held Dec. 7, 2016, at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Following the briefing, spouses were given the chance to pilot a flight simulator before getting to tour one of the aircraft associated with the wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

Fifty-Fifth Wing military spouses participated in the first 55th Wing Spouse Appreciation Night on Dec. 7, giving them an exclusive look into the overall missions carried out by their active duty spouses.

 

The three-hour tour began at the parking lot of the 343rd Reconnaissance Squadron then proceeded onto the flight line where the evening was divided between two separate hangars.


The tour began with a mission briefing followed by a chance to pilot an RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft simulator in the Operational Flight Trainer before ending with a guided aircraft tour.

 

 “For me, it is important that I can be a spokesman to express the genuine sense of gratitude to our husbands, wives and family on base for all that they do, and show them how they fit into the equation,” said Capt. Tim Kenny of the 338th Combat Training Squadron.

 

The most interactive portion of the tour was the flight simulator where spouses fly over the checkered, agrarian Nebraskan landscape prior to an attempted landing on the two-mile Offutt runway.

 

Cindy Wilson, wife of Senior Master Sgt. John Wilson of the 55th Security Forces Squadron said the flight simulator was, hands down, her favorite part of the evening.

The aircraft tour allowed the spouses to walk through the different compartments of the reconnaissance platform, to sit at the different work stations and to see the amenities aboard the Rivet Joint.

 

“I have a deeper insight and understanding of the different aircraft and value of their missions,” Cindy said.  “As a Security Forces spouse, I understand the mission is to protect. Now it makes sense exactly what they are protecting.”

 

The next spouse appreciation night is scheduled for March 2017 and will be held every three months following.