More than 100 ROTC cadets from the University of Puerto Rico visited Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, California. The cadets, from Detachment 756 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, had the opportunity to see the day to day life of servicemen and women in the Air Force. In a 2-day visit, they toured the 60th maintenance squadron and 60th aerial port squadron and the Travis Heritage Center.
Some of the cadets had never left the Island before. Many were not completely fluent in English, though they must polish up their English and pass a language exam as part of their training. The chance to collaborate with the Californian troops impressed the students.
According to the Solano County Daily Republic, cadet Giancarlo Casanova “was impressed by the synthesis of airmen working together at Travis, echoing the enduring spirit he saw among Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of the natural disasters. ‘People in Puerto Rico, we’re fighters. We don’t quit,’ he said. ‘We tend to be very active together and very helpful to each other. That’s where we come together.'”
The cadets tried out bomb-defusing robots, saw a demonstration of the K-9 team, and toured three aircraft: the C-5M Super Galaxy, the C-17 Globemaster III, and the KC-10 Extender. They also learned about the career opportunities the Air Force has to offer.
Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Hamilton, the commander of Detachment 756, praised his cadets for their bravery and spirit as they responded to the recent disasters in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has a long and proud tradition of service in the U.S. military. R. Michael Longoria, 2d Lt, USAF, described it as “an honor and a privilege” to host the ROTC cadets.