Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weather or Not!

This blog should be read from bottom to top!
Today, Thursday, started off requiring some extra time and effort to clear a layer of about 1/2" of ice off of the CRV.  Not only so we could drive, but first to get through the ice to get the vehicle open!  The hotel parking lot was as slick as a hockey rink, but had an added challenge in that it was sloped!  We took no photos, happy just to survive the experience without falling down.

Our first stop today was the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois.  Chanute AFB was closed in the early 1990s. 

Click on any blog photo for larger image!
Grissom Hall is where I received my weather training, which lasted about 9 months from late 1970 to mid 1971.  The former Chanute AFB is now a regional airport, and the community of Rantoul has taken steps to preserve some history of the base, including a museum. 
My unit was OLA 16, Detachment 16,
5th Weather Wing, Military Airlift Command,
United States Air Force

This Air Force Base was home to a number of training schools, including those for Weather, Weather Equipment Maintenance, Aircraft Mechanics, and Aircraft Avionics Maintenance.  I was very disappointed to find little or no reference left to the Weather or Weather Equipment training.  I'm inserting an image of my own AWS patch!  All Weather personnel supporting the Air Force and Army were trained at this base from the late 1940s until the base closed in 1993.  I am referring to a very large number of persons, many who went on to post-military careers with the National Weather Service and NOAA, including the Severe Storms Forecast Center for tornado and hurricane tracking and forecasting.  Every Air Force Base and Army Air Field in the world have had a significant number of Air Force Weather Service personnel whose duties include conducting flight weather briefings.

I was unable to locate the barracks where I lived during my training here!

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