PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AIR RESERVE STATION, Pa. --
The 911th Airlift Wing hosted established senior-level leaders, high-potential young professionals and post 9/11 veterans who graduated from leadership development courses offered by Leadership Pittsburgh Inc., March 22, 2019.
“Leadership Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to developing civic leaders to serve the region,” said Marie Hamblett, program director with Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.
One of the 911th AW’s own, 911th Operations Group commander Col. Gregory Buchanan, is a Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. alumni.
“While in the program, I realized there was no discussion about local military in the program, so I offered to Leadership Pittsburgh a day to experience life as an Air Force reservist,” said Buchanan. “I wanted these senior leaders to not only intellectually understand our community impact but really ‘feel’ what it is like to be in the military in Pittsburgh.”
During the visit graduates of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. toured the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, received briefings about different functions of the base as well as the economic impact the 911th has on the community and had the opportunity to fly on board a C-17 Globemaster III.
“Graduate engagement events like the visit to the 911th AW expand the knowledge base of our alumni and it provides an opportunity for us to get connected to aspects of the regional economy that we may not otherwise during the course of our regular programming,” said Hamblett.
While in flight, the civic leaders witnessed members of the 911th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron conduct training on giving medical treatment to simulated patients as they transported them in the aircraft.
“I asked the leaders to imagine themselves as an Airman, Soldier, Sailor or Marine reservist or active-duty member riding in the jet enroute to a far-away war zone or returning from a long deployment,” Buchanan said. “The next time they hear about a C-17 supporting a humanitarian exercise or bringing troops to the fight, I want these leaders to remember how the C-17 smelled, how it sounded, how it felt.”
Back on the ground, they had a small lunch and talked with Airmen from various parts of the units and got to hear their stories and what they do both for the 911th Airlift Wing and what they do when not in uniform as Citizen Airmen.
“Our tagline at Pittsburgh Leadership Inc. is ‘we open eyes, minds and doors’ and this visit definitely did that for me,” said Hamblett. “Our time visiting emphasized the magnitude of the 911th AW both in their impact and their importance to our region.”