Andersen opens its gates so community "can see what we do"
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- More than 4,000 servicemembers and civilians came together for the 2012 Andersen Air Force Base Open House here Oct. 13.
Events like the Open House are an opportunity for residents of Guam and other islands in the region to get a broader understanding of the Pacific region mission for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
"As a Guam resident, I never get the opportunity to come on base," said Cora Gatmen. "Not only is it an opportunity to see what Andersen does, but it was an educational opportunity and eye opener for my daughter and grandson to show what a military career could look like."
Events of the day included a swearing-in ceremony for new Air Force and Marine Corps recruits and ground and aerial performances by the Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team, Misawa AB, Japan. There were also flyovers from F-22 Raptors, a B-52 Stratofortress, an aerial demonstration from Navy's Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO FIVE's MH-60S Knighthawks and various ground demonstrations from base squadrons, tenant units and joint partner units.
The Open House also featured Pacific Air Force's pop/rock band, Pacific Trends, Yakota Air Base, Japan.
"I'm so glad I brought my grandson today," said Gatmen. "He is 4-years old and said he will join the Air Force. He was amazed by what he saw and as a grandmother that was a wonderful thing to see."
Static displays included an Air Force F-22 Raptor, B-52 Stratofortress, KC-135 Stratotanker, C-130 Hercules, MC-130 Combat Shadow, C-12 Huron, a Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet and a Navy MH-60S Knighthawk as well as Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas.
"I brought my son out to see the equipment and he was fascinated," said Bryan Ryley, Guam resident. "It was a very educational experience."
Those who visited the Open House were also able to purchase food from local vendors and various organizations and take part in a number of different games and activities.
The 2012 Andersen AFB Open House was an opportunity for the military on Guam to show their appreciation for the local community by demonstrating various air, land and sea capabilities.
"It's a big deal for the base to open its doors to the community, said Maj. Joe Little, 36th Operations Support Squadron director of operations and Open House director. "A lot of people see the aircraft flying over Guam, so this is a great opportunity for them to come out and see what we do."
The last Andersen Air Force Base Open House was hosted in 2009 when the Thunderbirds came to Guam.