Training America’s future leaders: Cub, Boy Scouts visit MacDill

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adam R. Shanks
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Twenty Cub Scouts from Lithia, Florida as well as 65 Boy Scouts camped out at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 2-4, 2016.

The Cub Scouts were part of Pack 632 and the Boy Scouts were from Troops 11, 56, 83 and 632.

As a former Eagle Scout, Col. Patrick Miller, commander of the 6th Mission Support Group, spoke with the scouts at the beginning of their visit.

“Although it has been a few years since Pack 632 has camped at MacDill, it’s always a popular camping event for the scouts and their families,” said Lt. Col. Sean Troyer, the chief of operational test and evaluation for ground systems with U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and coordinator for the Cub Scouts. “Many of the scouts were very excited to hear Col. Miller was an Eagle Scout, which is the highest attainable scout rank.”

After Miller’s speech, the scouts setup camp to settle in for a nights rest in preparation for tours and training the following day.

The first stop for Cub Scouts Pack 632 on Saturday was the air traffic control tower, where, they learned about the duties and responsibilities of tower personnel.

Later, they toured the crash fire station, where firefighters assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron taught the scouts how to properly use a fire extinguisher and how to engage a mock burning house.

“The Airmen made a huge impression on the scouts, and at least half of them want to be firefighters now,” Troyer laughed. “We are very appreciative of the Airmen that helped during our multiple visits.

“It was the weekend, so they came in specifically for us and I can’t thank them enough.”

While the Cub Scouts toured the base, the Boy Scout Troops were trained for the Search and Rescue Merit Badge. Ten instructors from SOCOM, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT) and the 6th Medical Group assisted in the training.

The scouts cycled through several stations. The first station required them to identify hazards and how to avoid them as well as applying first aid to snakebites, dehydration, shock, hypothermia or heatstroke and ankle sprains.

The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system, was considered one of the hardest stations by the scouts.

“The UTM system involves plotting a grid on a map to find the last known location of the person they were to rescue.” said Lt. Col. Clay Pettit, deputy of Army Reserve Engagement Team at SOCOM and coordinator for the Boy Scouts. “Using a scale, the scouts had to show they could identify a location as well as identify a place that could be used for containment using natural or human-made boundaries.”

At another station, Senior Master Sgt. Chris Albrandt, a pararescueman assigned to SOCCENT, described his training to the Scouts and displayed his equipment to show what his mission entails.

“The scouts were very interested in his responsibilities,” said Pettit. “After he told the scouts what he does, they looked forward to finishing the training and doing rescue missions themselves.”

On Sunday, the Boy Scouts put their training to the test during an exercise, where they had to address a scenario, discuss the behavior of a lost person and search in teams until they reached their objective, using everything they learned the day before.

“All in all, the camp out was a huge success,” said Pettit. “Our scouts learned many skills for their progress of becoming America’s future leaders.”