Three Burleson airmen graduate from Air Force basic training; another serves on large ship
Three U.S. Air Force airmen with Burleson connections have graduated from basic military training.
U.S. Air Force Airman Corbin L. Shaw graduated at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, in San Antonio.
The airmen completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Shaw, a 2017 graduate of Burleson High School, is the son of Chandra Willis and Robert Shaw and step-son of Candice Shaw and Bradley Willis, all of Burleson. He is also the grandson of Melanie and Robert Copeland of Tulsa, Okla.
U.S. Air Force Airman Amiel Darcy Q. Guerrero also graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio.
Guerrero is the son of Timothy L. and Arleen Q. Dissmore of Burleson.
He is a 2017 graduate of River Ridge High School, Patchgrove, Wis.
Also, U.S. Air Force Airman Zackary W. Wallace graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio.
Wallace is the son of James Wallace of Burleson, and Amy Hartmann of Katy.
He is a 2017 graduate of Burleson High School.
Friend serves aboard USS George H.W. Bush
Meanwhile, another Burleson native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush.
Airman Adam Friend is an air traffic controller aboard the carrier operating out of the Navy’s largest base.
As an air traffic controller, Friend is responsible for providing the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic.
“Air traffic control on a carrier is challenging, and it’s a great opportunity to learn,” said Friend.
Named in honor of former President George H.W. Bush, the carrier is longer than three football fields, measuring nearly 1,100 feet. The ship, a true floating city, weighs more than 100,000 tons and has a flight deck that is 252 feet wide. Two nuclear reactors can push the ship through the water at more than 35 mph.
Powerful catapults slingshot the aircraft off the bow of the ship. The planes land aboard the carrier by snagging a steel cable with an arresting hook that protrudes from the rear of the aircraft.
As a sailor with numerous responsibilities, Friend learns about life at sea serving in the Navy and the importance of taking personal responsibility while leading others and still using lessons learned from their hometown.
“I’ve always been able to manage my time,” said Friend. “It helps me with the pace of work here.”
Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard the carrier. Approximately 3,200 men and women make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the aircraft carrier running smoothly — this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the nuclear reactors. Another 2,500 men and women form the air wing responsible for flying and maintaining more than 70 aircraft aboard the ship.
The USS George H.W. Bush, like each of the Navy’s aircraft carriers, is designed for a 50-year service life. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea.
All of this makes the USS George H.W. Bush a self-contained mobile airport and strike platform, and often the first response to a global crisis because of a carrier’s ability to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans.
“I was awarded the command Blue Jacket of the Quarter and earned three warfare qualification pins,” said Friend. “Those pins are Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist, Enlisted Air Warfare Specialist, and Enlisted Information Warfare Specialist.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Friend and other USS George H.W. Bush sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I have learned that sometimes the smallest thing may have the biggest impact on the team,” added Friend. “The Navy really requires me to pay attention to detail.”