On a beautiful sunny summer day our tour began with young service women guiding us onto a school bus vehicle for tour.
Here we received our marching orders for the day and learned the Goldsboro base is named for a navy pilot killed when his test plane crashed. This 1927 Annapolis Naval Academy graduate was a Goldsboro native. The City named the field for him and it later became the base. The name stuck and now is the only Air Force Base named for a member of the Navy.
Our first stop was a hangar where we were introduced to the F 15 plane. Here a mechanic explained the intricacies of the plane. The F 15, though an older plane, can do it all. It can fly air to ground as well as air to air flights and is deployed in missions worldwide. Where the plane goes so does the mechanics. The name of the mechanics grace one side of the plane and the pilot the other.
Though the latest version of the plane is 1987 these planes will be used through 2040. Frequent upgrades are done to keep the plane current. While holding bombs and doing air to ground refueling they still are able to maintain a speed of 1800 mph. They also are able to carry 30,000 pounds of gas holds. Two crew members are in the plane with the pilot in front and the weapon system person in the back. While there is gunner capability, bombs and missiles are mainly used.
One of the main missions of the base is to train pilots how to deploy. General Chuck Yaeger trained here as well as others with notoriety. Saudi Arabian pilots have trained on the base and there is an exchange program with British pilots as well. Seymour is home to four fighter squadrons and two operational (active) squadrons.
Air Force Museum
An award winning Air Force Museum is on the grounds of the base. Outside the museum building are many “planes on a stick,” which are maintained by the base. The curator of the Museum gave many interesting stories of gallantry and courage exhibited by our forces.
Here are a few planes:
The final stop was the base Fire Department. Military personnel from this base travel the world training and helping others with firefighting efforts. There certainly was a lot of equipment on these firetrucks, but as the firefighter said you never know what you need.
Military personnel had recently returned from Africa on a training mission. To ensure base coverage during these deployments there are non-military firefighter personnel on staff. Staff reside 24/7 in the fire department and have interesting shared living quarters while on site.
Here are some of the fire trucks on base.
And the finale to our visit. What a demonstration!
This tour is conducted through the Goldsboro Visitor Center. Few bases allow tours and this certainly was fascinating. Put it on your list to see.