Little Rock AFB, Ark., civic leaders visit Arnold

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Civic leaders from Little Rock AFB, Ark., got an opportunity to see a different Air Force mission when they visited Arnold Sept. 10-11.

Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, 314th Airlift Wing commander, and 32 civic leaders from Little Rock, Ark., arrived at Arnold aboard a C-130 Hercules. The group, welcomed at the Arnold Air Field by Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) Commander Col. Art Huber and members of Team AEDC and the Arnold Community Council.

The group toured multiple AEDC facilities including Propulsion Wind Tunnel, Aerospropulsion Systems Test Facility, Large Rocket Test Facility J-6 and Mark 1 Space Chamber where they were briefed on AEDC's mission, capabilities and explained how AEDC supports the Air Force mission. Colonel Huber and Team AEDC provided an in-depth look at Arnold and gave the civic leaders an opportunity to ask questions. The tour ended Sept. 11 with a Patriot Day luncheon at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.

Civic Leader Tour ends with flag ceremony

As the group from Little Rock concluded their visit to AEDC, members of the 118th Airlift Wing Honor Guard, Tennessee Air National Guard performed 'Operation Patriotism' to honor those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

While many in the room came from different states, backgrounds the one thing everyone had in common was the memory of the day that marks American history.

The ceremony, lead by Senior Master Sgt. Steve Williams and including Honor Guard members Master Sgt. John Chapman, Tech. Sgt. Tim Bishop, Staff Sgt. Darrell Hamm, Staff Sgt. Brian Kinner, Senior Airman Richard Allen and Senior Airman Patrick Cooley highlighted the American flag or as many like to call it "Old Glory."

Old Glory is the one constant throughout American history and has seen every war, leader, natural disaster, loss of life, economic downfall, the devastation of Sept. 11, the dedication to re-build and much more. Most importantly, it has seen what it represents - the remarkable spirit of Americans and the patriots who have carved the path to freedom.

As 'Old Glory,' marched out of the room a moment of silence was held to honor the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. Many also reflected on the men and women who defend America and head into harm's way on a daily basis.