GPS Wing Mentors Redondo Union High School Students
By Global Positioning Systems Wing, SMC
/ Published April 02, 2009
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A team of Green Monsters from GPS Wing's company grade officer ranks, led by Capt. George 'Trey' Smith, recently completed a successful mentoring and outreach session at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach where the team showcased GPS to more than 110 students enrolled in the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps. The students learned about the importance of GPS, how it works, and how all the segments are integrated together to provide GPS users with uninterrupted positioning, navigation and timing service.
The event kicked off with an Air Force video that stressed the importance of GPS to the warfighter. Capt. Rolando Dagoc captivated the audience with his overview of the Control Segment and how it's being modernized to improve GPS operators' interfaces to control new capabilities of the modernized satellites and improve launch, anomaly and disposal operations. He also answered a series of ROTC and enlistment related questions.
Capt. Pat Little took 'teaching' to another level as he impressed the students with his entertaining and informative rendition of "GPS 101". He made the highly complex math and science of GPS technology understandable to a group of teenagers--the students were extremely engaged, as evidenced by the many thought-provoking questions. Lt. Luke Hagen provided a thorough "how do we get satellites into space" presentation. There was no shortage of interest in the Launch department, and he delivered a message of getting things right the first time. He took things a step further by sharing with the students his time in JROTC and how that experience helped him secure an ROTC scholarship at Embry-Riddle.
Lt. Nesta Garner spoke on the importance of managing costs for the government as well as for the contractor and the reality of limited budgets. This pitch on "how to manage the check book" for space acquisition resonated with our future business leaders in the audience, who asked several questions and had even more questions after class.
Wrapping the session up, Capt. Joel Rivera, an Air Force Academy graduate, demystified AFA entry requirements, campus life and the career field selection process. As GPS IIF's deputy program manager, he also discussed how Integrated Product Teams' activities are integrated and how all the parts fit together. This final piece of the puzzle was essential to the student's understanding of how the GPS Wing conducts business on a daily basis.