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News for Marion Regional Career Center

Grissom Base visit gives MRCC students ‘exhilarating experience’

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News When students in the aviation operations class at Marion Regional Career Center went down to Indianapolis last month for the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Aerospace and Defense breakfast, little did they realize the additional opportunity that would come their way. A month later, students were sitting in the cockpit of the KC-135 full motion simulator at Grissom Air Reserve Base, in full control of flying (virtually) in the Hawaiian Islands.

Grissom Air Base is home to the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 434th Air Refueling Wing, which specializes in mid-air refueling. The simulator helps them with training. The aviation operations class visited the base on Nov. 13.

Marion Regional Career Center aviation operations students Emma Jacobs, Landon Bouslog, and Nick Lee pause for a photo while inside the KC-135 full motion simulator at Grissom Air Reserve Base on Nov. 13, 2018.

The KC-135 full motion simulator at Grissom Air Reserve Base looks nothing like an airplane from the outside, but inside, the flight simulator allows members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 434th Air Refueling Wing to train for the challenging task of mid-air refueling. 

“Going to Grissom allowed me to broaden my horizon on job opportunities in aviation,” said Emma Jacobs, a student in MRCC’s aviation operations class “Being able to fly as the boom operator and be captain in a KC-135 simulator was a great experience. I loved learning about the operations and steps it takes to preform those tasks.”

Aviation is one of the hottest career fields for high school students, with an estimated need for 637,000 commercial aircraft pilots and 648,000 technicians in the coming years, according to a recent Boeing jobs outlook report. This does not include the air traffic control, dispatchers and other related careers.

“Providing our high school students with opportunities to be part of a high demand, high wage job market is exciting!” said Scott Simpson, who teaches the aviation operations class. “When I talk with teachers and other professionals and explain what we are doing at Marion Regional Career Center, they are amazed and almost in disbelief that a high school career center is offering this type of curriculum to students.”

Nick Lee, another member of the class, summarized the visit this way: “Going to Grissom Air Force Base was something that I will never forget. This was an exhilarating experience that I will keep with me forever.”