45th MSG Airmen experience Koreasat-5A launch up close during immersion program

Officers and enlisted Airmen from the 45th Space Wing Mission Support Group pose for a photo during the ‘Lunch & Launch’ event, held Nov. 6 on the Eastern Range. The ‘Lunch & Launch’ program allowed company grade officers, noncommissioned officers and senior noncommissioned officers an opportunity to sit down, share a meal with leadership, and learn more from individuals outside their functional area they normally do not interact with. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz)

Officers and enlisted Airmen from the 45th Space Wing Mission Support Group pose for a photo during the ‘Lunch & Launch’ event, held Nov. 6 on the Eastern Range. The ‘Lunch & Launch’ program allowed company grade officers, noncommissioned officers and senior noncommissioned officers an opportunity to sit down, share a meal with leadership, and learn more from individuals outside their functional area they normally do not interact with. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- Officers and enlisted Airmen from the 45th Space Wing Mission Support Group had the opportunity to network and see the end result of their day-to-day efforts during the ‘Lunch & Launch’ event, held Nov. 6 on the Eastern Range.

The purpose of the ‘Lunch & Launch’ was to provide company grade officers, noncommissioned officers and senior noncommissioned officers with an opportunity to sit down, share a meal with leadership, and learn more from individuals outside their functional area they normally do not interact with.

In addition, the program afforded them the experience to see the Koreasat-5A launch from a much closer perspective, as they were less than three miles from the launch site.

“We wanted to bring together our Airmen throughout the MSG and provide them with an opportunity to interact with other Airmen and leaders they might not see every day,” said Lt Tyler Almquist, 45th MSG command executive officer and ‘Lunch & Launch’ program manager. “In addition to a great networking opportunity, it is an important reminder of why our mission is so important.”

Almquist said he hopes to expand the program and the opportunity to more Airmen throughout the wing. Colonel Kevin Williams, 45th MSG commander, echoed Almquist’s sentiments and added it is important to maintain focus and never forget the impact each person has on the mission.

“This (program) is a great opportunity to give our Airmen who primarily work at Patrick Air Force Base the chance to see the end result of our support for the 45th Space Wing,” said Col. Williams. “Any time we have that ability, we want to take advantage of it.”

Staff Sgt. Vanessa Limon, 45th Security Forces Squadron Visitor Control Center noncommissioned officer in charge, was one of the Airmen who attended the event and said it was one of her best work-related experiences while stationed at Patrick Air Force Base.

“It is one thing to see the launches from a distance,” said Limon. “You can hear the rumbling and see the streaks of white scatter throughout the sky. But when you’re that close, the sound is thunderous, the colors are brighter and the experience is much more memorable. I am glad I had this opportunity and I cannot recommend it enough to Airmen so they can see how their effects are critical to our mission.”

For more information about the ‘Lunch and Launch’ program, contact 1st Lt. Tyler Almquist at 854-6609.