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Chaplain Candidates visit Swamp Fox Airmen

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Candidates visit the South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 hangar during a tour at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., July 30, 2014. The tour is part of training for the Candidates to be exposed to various ministry missions at active duty, guard and reserve Air Force bases.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Candidates visit the South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 hangar during a tour at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., July 30, 2014. The tour is part of training for the Candidates to be exposed to various ministry missions at active duty, guard and reserve Air Force bases. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Candidates visit the South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 hangar during a tour at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., July 30, 2014. The tour is part of training for the Candidates to be exposed to various ministry missions at active duty, guard and reserve Air Force bases.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Candidates visit the South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 hangar during a tour at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., July 30, 2014. The tour is part of training for the Candidates to be exposed to various ministry missions at active duty, guard and reserve Air Force bases. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Candidates visit the South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 hangar during a tour at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., July 30, 2014. The tour is part of training for the Candidates to be exposed to various ministry missions at active duty, guard and reserve Air Force bases.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Candidates visit the South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 hangar during a tour at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., July 30, 2014. The tour is part of training for the Candidates to be exposed to various ministry missions at active duty, guard and reserve Air Force bases. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Investing in the future leadership of the Air Force is time well spent. Education and mentoring is an honor not to take lightly. Air Force Chaplain Candidates are a particular group of interest to the future of the Chaplain Corps. For the first time in our history here at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, our Chaplain Corps hosted 18 Chaplain Candidates led by Reserve Chaplain, Lt. Col. Charles Towery and other leaders on July 30, 2014. The day was full with emphasis on the uniqueness of the Air National Guard Chaplain Corps ministry. Candidates toured the base, learning about McEntire's F-16 mission, Aerospace Control Alert mission, and Eagle Vision (IV), which is one of only five sites in the nation.

The day began with a welcome and briefs from our base commander, Col. David Meyer and wing Chaplain Lt. Col. Brian Bohlman. Chap. John Denny also shared about the significance of the South Carolina Chaplain Corps Joint Ministry between the Army and Air Guard. Other points of interest was a testimony of "Why I joined the Air National Guard?" as well as the importance of a good team approach with the first sergeant, wing Director of Psychological Health and Family Readiness to better serve Airmen. Finally, two chaplain assistants spoke on the uniqueness of the ANG Religious Support Team (RST) Unit Ministry on drill weekends.

The group was diverse, consisting of many faith groups, females and males, various ethnic groups, prior enlisted and non-prior service members. This variety of Chaplain Candidates was a reflection of the many faces of Airmen they visited throughout the day. From handshakes to ice pops in the hangar, each contact was a meaningful ministry of presence. The Candidates feedback was affirming to the information gained and ministry opportunities made available on their tour at McEntire. From the hangar to the Security Forces Squadron, this year's Chaplain Candidates left their mark on McEntire and we were honored to be a part of their 2014 Training Tour.