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609th ACOMS hosts immersion tour with UofSC cadets

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Blake Gonzales
  • Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central)

The goal of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps is to develop the next generation of U.S. Air Force leaders. In pursuit of this goal, detachments offer cadets opportunities to learn about the Air Force both inside and outside of the classroom. Recently, a Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) squadron sought to contribute to this outside perspective.

The 609th Air Communications Squadron hosted an immersion tour for AFROTC Detachment 775 at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, March 25, 2022.

The 609th ACOMS briefed the cadets on the mission capabilities of the squadron, hosted leadership seminars and provided a first-hand look at communication operations from the AFCENT perspective.

“The main goal is to have their leadership be a little bit better today than it was yesterday,” said 1st Lt. Alexander Nicklaus, 609th ACOMS Weapons Systems Operations officer in charge. “It’s an opportunity to help them out and build them up.”

The cadets learned how the 609th ACOMS provides premier communications and cyber security to AFCENT assets. They also received advice from key leaders within the squadron, including Lt. Col. Harold Sham, 609th ACOMS commander.

“As you all are putting on that second lieutenant rank, absorb all the information and education that you can,” Sham said. “Get into your work centers and just see what they do every day. Grow where you’re planted.”

This immersion was one of several professional development opportunities presented to the cadets to aid their growth and shape their paths as future U.S. Air Force leaders.

“The biggest thing I took away is how vital communication is,” said Sean Brody, AFROTC Detachment 775 cadet. “Without communication, nothing can really get done. You always think of the planes flying or the bombs dropping, but you don’t necessarily see the people enabling that communication.”

Brody is currently in his senior year and is slotted to be an intelligence officer.

“Seeing how both intelligence and communications are very similar career fields, this is something I’m going to be dealing with a lot,” Brody said. “I’m looking forward to learning more.”

Immersions like these aim to provide a solid foundation for the next generation of Air Force leaders by directly connecting ROTC cadets with experienced mentors. These opportunities are designed to develop the force while simultaneously fostering a cohesive posture for the future fight.