185th Air Refueling Wing takes part in Siouxland Aviation Festival

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tylon Chapman
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


The Northwest Iowa Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Advisory Council hosted the Siouxland Aviation Festival in conjunction with the 185th Air Refueling Wing and the MidAmerica Museum of Aviation and Transportation this week. 

Over 200 middle and high school students from 19 different schools in and outside the Siouxland area converged on Sioux City to visit the 185th and neighboring MidAmerica Museum to see a variety of different STEM-related careers and activities. 

Students from as far away as Rock Valley, Iowa, came to see a how STEM intertwined with Air National Guard service. 

At the Wing, students were able to interact with an air refueling boom operation simulator, which mimics the in-flight refueling performed with the unit’s KC-135 Stratotankers. 

Students also experienced hands-on demonstrations of emergency medical procedures from Airmen of the unit’s Medical Group, which included procedures like drags and carries, obstructed airways, and wound care. 

Airmen of the 185th ARW fire department exhibited vehicle stabilization and extraction demonstrations, as well as other activities at the unit.  

Mary Trent, the Northwest Iowa STEM Regional Manager, said the event is a great way for students to get an expansive view into aviation. 

“We want to make sure that we are giving our students as young as sixth grade and even younger an opportunity to see what’s out there,” explained Trent. 

Trent said it’s the council’s job to help provide students with the high demand skills that they will need in the future. 

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council was formed in 2011 by then Governor Terry Branstad to increase interest and achievement in STEM studies and careers by providing opportunities to inspire young people to become innovative and enterprising contributors to the workforce. 

Events like the Siouxland Aviation Festival realize this mission by showing young Iowans potential futures in STEM careers. 

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