New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing hosts career fair for Central New York High School Students

  • Published
  • By Mr. Alexander Rector
  • 174th Attack Wing

The New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing opened their doors and hosted a career fair for more than 60 high school students from Baldwinsville Central School District at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Jan, 18.

The career fair showcased job opportunities with the Syracuse headquartered unit and allowed the students to speak with 174th Attack Wing Airmen and view Air Force equipment and vehicles.

“We’re excited to open our base and welcome the students, teachers and guidance counselors from the Baldwinsville Central School District,” said U.S. Air Force Col. John O’Connor, commander of the 174th Attack Wing. “This is a great opportunity to demonstrate the opportunities available at the 174th Attack Wing, and the New York Air National Guard.”

Craig Rosen a high school teacher at Baldwinsville Central School District and retired U.S. Navy helicopter pilot, decided to pursue a field trip to Hancock Field for his students after a chance meeting with Tech Sgt. Trayvon Wynn, a recruiter assigned to the 174th Attack Wing.

“One day at the beginning of the school year, I walked into the school, and saw Tech Sgt. Wynn and I noticed how he was engaging the students,” said Rosen. “I saw that how he interacted with students was the same way I interact in my classroom, so I walked up to him, and I was like, Hey, I said, I need you to come to my classroom and just sit down and talk to my kids.”

At Baldwinsville High School, Rosen teaches a class titled MST for mathematics, science, and technology, which is a project-based hands-on STEM course where students explore subjects like aerodynamics, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and technology, through project-based learning.

“It's a very unique course in the sense that it's not somebody standing up in front of the classroom lecturing, it's more of a class where I give them a problem set and materials and they work in small groups to solve the problem,” said Rosen.

When Rosen started brainstorming on somewhere to bring his class in the local community where they could see different careers that use MST, Hancock Field Air National Guard Base seemed to fit the bill. The 174th Attack Wing, headquartered at Hancock Field, operates the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft. The unit also operates two training schools at the base which train MQ-9 crews and maintainers.

With support careers such as civil engineering, security forces, logistics, and intelligence, the 174th Attack Wing has opportunities for service that intersect a wide spectrum of academic disciplines.

“It was very eye-opening,” said Jenna Diliberto, a senior at Baldwinsville High School. “Coming here I thought it would be mostly mechanical stuff but I learned that there also are medical programs here which is what I’m going to college for, so this could also be an option for me in that field.”

Surrounded by three MQ-9 Reapers in the unit’s main hanger, the students took turns piloting a flight simulator and looked at interactive displays during the three-hour event.

“One of the missions of our school district is community connection, and this is community connection,” said Rosen. “These kids are coming down and seeing what's going on inside the walls of this base. They're coming in here and seeing that the military is not just what they see on Call of Duty and if you want to turn this into a career, this is a viable opportunity. I think that's important.”

“I just want to thank you guys. You all really made this an amazing event and Tech. Sgt. Wynn went above and beyond,” said Rosen. “I really can't say enough how impressed I was by the amount of people and the quality of education you are providing to my youth. You really went above and beyond so I appreciate that.”

For more information on joining the 174th Attack Wing, please contact the recruiting office at 1(800)883-4484.

U.S. Air Force security forces Airmen assigned to the 174th Attack Wing, speaks to a student from Baldwinsville Central School District during a wing career fair at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Jan. 18. During the career fair more than 60 high school students met with 174th Attack Wing Airmen, viewed unit vehicles and equipment, and learned about career opportunities with the New York Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Alexander Rector)