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Clear skies ahead; Shaw AFB weather squadrons host booth at eSTEAM Sumter Festival

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kyrii Richardson
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Team Shaw’s weather squadrons volunteered their time to show their allyship to increasing Steam career field visibility by hosting a booth at the eSTEAM Sumter Festival Oct. 7, 2023.

The city of Sumter put on an eSTEAM Festival to invite science, technology, engineering, arts and math enthusiasts and experts to come together for a day of fun, inspiring attendees to explore opportunities for future careers and hobbies. Shaw decided to pour back into the community and give them an opportunity to see what weather squadrons are like.

"I'm not only representing my AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) I'm also representing the greater wild weasel nation, which is a really unique opportunity for us,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ashley Labrie, 20th Operational Support Squadron mission and training non-commissioned officer in charge. “To be able to showcase what we do in the weather career field is exciting."

The 20th Operational Support Squadron in addition to the 28th Operational Weather Squadron seized the opportunity to proudly represent Team Shaw in this year's festival. The booth was interactive and informational, many participants left with a better understanding of how the squadron’s forecasters make predictions supporting other aspects of their jobs. Visitors not only left with various weather facts, they were also gifted a cloud recognition chart to distinguish cloud formations just by looking in the sky.

"Weather doing asset support and protection is how we make sure that planes can fly, giving them the go ahead or no go for thunderstorms or any other weather phenomenon," said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gavyn Gelinas, 28th Operational Weather Squadron weather forecaster.

Asset support is one of the lesser known functions of the weather squadrons. Support from local communities are allocated to purchasing forecasting equipment. Predicting the most accurate weather conditions ensures Shaw pilots can make the safest decisions to complete the mission.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Francis Longtin-Plante, 28th Operational Weather Squadron shift supervisor said, he had so much fun participating in the event. Shaw has such a recognizable impact in the community it was refreshing getting out seeing all the people he proudly serves every day.

The Fighter Wing has been proudly serving this community for over 70 years, frequently volunteering to build that symbiotic relationship reinforcing one of the wing's goals. Events like these provide the opportunity for Team Shaw’s members to engage with the community in a way that fulfills everyone's sense of community.