How militarized are we?
Updated at 2:57 p.m., Friday, September 18, 2009
Students climb aboard military aircraft during Education Day at Hickam
Hickam Airforce Base – About 1,500 O’ahu students got a chance to climb aboard a fuel tanker, and peek inside the cockpit of an F-15 this morning during Education Day, a sneak peak at Hickam’s flight line that visitors will see tomorrow during the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds show.
Starting at 10 a.m. tomorrow, residents may come on base and tour the civilian and military aircraft. Military personnel will be on hand to explain the aircraft.
This morning, students from schools from Kailua to Ewa were in awe as they were allowed to sit in the pilot’s seat in a fueling tanker, looking at the vast array of dials and levers. They were told by a pilot of an F-15 the specs: It’s called “The Eagle,” it carries eight missiles, cost $15 million and has a machine gun on the right side of the aircraft.
“It’s awesome,” said Noah Au Young, a Momilani sixth-grader. “It can shoot 950 bullets in a couple of seconds. I’ve seen one of these before.”
More than 120,000 people are expected to come on base to see the aircraft or to watch the Thunderbirds air show during Hickam’s 2009 open house called “Wings over the Pacific.” The air show is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
Parking is available on base, but residents are being asked to not bring coolers, backpacks or duffle bags, chairs, weapons, alcohol or drugs on base. Fanny packs and purses, food and snacks will be allowed on base. For more information go to wwww.hafb2009openhouse.com.