By: Robert Hyde, Commander, U.S. Navy
Faithful adherents to various denominations of Islam are at odds with each other; the US is wrestling with a number of poor options in identifying a national policy stance on the Middle East; extremism is increasingly a worldwide security concern. What should we do? Just ask any member of the LT’15 class as they have the answers. These and other topics were discussed in depth during the most recent visit to MacDill AFB.
The day was a balanced focus between learning about MacDill’s KC-135 air refueling mission through the 927th Air Refueling Wing and hearing from Commanders at Central Command (CENTCOM) and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) about their challenges. The CENTCOM Director of Plans spoke about the challenges posed by current conflicts in the Middle East, with a focus on the Syria problem. The Deputy Director of Operations at SOCOM educated the class on what makes Special Operations Forces (SOF) unique and shared insights into the vast global footprint called the Global SOF Network. In between, students boarded a KC-135 aircraft, learned about military working dogs and were able to handle small arms (pistols) and long guns (rifles). The high point in the day was personal interaction with members of country’s most elite forces — Green Berets, Rangers, SEALS, and Marine Corps Special Forces.
In all, LT’15 had a great day and became more aware of the wide variety of missions supported right here at the south end of the Tampa peninsula on MacDill Air Force Base.