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MacDill hosts Community Day

Community Day participants board a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 28, 2018. The event provided an opportunity for the Tampa community to get a closer look at MacDill’s mission.

Community Day participants board a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 28, 2018. The event provided an opportunity for the Tampa community to get a closer look at MacDill’s mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alexander Thibodeaux, an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron, educates Community Day participants on the numerous explosives they are trained to detect, disarm, detonate and dispose of at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 28, 2018. Community Day provided and opportunity for the Tampa community to interact with Airmen and learn about their specific duties.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alexander Thibodeaux, an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron, educates Community Day participants on the numerous explosives they are trained to detect, disarm, detonate and dispose of at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 28, 2018. Community Day provided and opportunity for the Tampa community to interact with Airmen and learn about their specific duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez.)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Loughmiller, a military working dog handler assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron, performs a demonstration during Community Day at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 28, 2018. The event also included opportunities for the participants to learn about Airmen from various squadrons around MacDill.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Loughmiller, a military working dog handler assigned to the 6th Security Forces Squadron, performs a demonstration during Community Day at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 28, 2018. The event also included opportunities for the participants to learn about Airmen from various squadrons around MacDill. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The city of Tampa is the third most populous city in the state of Florida with a population of approximately 400,000 thousand residents. With MacDill contributing more than 133,000 military personnel, retirees and their families to that figure, it is important to foster an environment of mutual support to allow for great working relationships and trust.

In an effort to convey MacDill’s continuous involvement with the local community, Airmen from different squadrons came together to host Community Day at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Jan. 29, 2018.

Community Day included a military working dog demonstration along with various stations showcasing MacDill’s mission, including a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft static display for the veterans, retirees and church groups in attendance.

“This was my first time participating in an event like this,” said Jim Belesky, a former Army flight engineer during the Vietnam War. “It was really cool to talk with current service members and learn about what they do here.”

This unique opportunity for the Tampa community to interact with Airmen is valued by both the community and the service members who participate in such events.

“I enjoy demonstrating my job to the Tampa community and I usually take every chance I can to do so,” said Senior Airman Alexander Thibodeaux, an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron. “It's very rewarding educating others on our job because it bridges the gap between the military and civilians.”

Tampa has served as a strategic stronghold for various missions during the 75 years that MacDill has provided vital support to major military engagements across the globe. For this reason, it is essential to provide the Tampa community opportunities, like Community Day, to communicate that their support is valued.