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Leadership Del Rio tours Laughlin

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keira Rossman
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Team XL hosted a tour for Leadership Del Rio, a program established to inspire community members to actively participate in local affairs and contribute to Del Rio’s continued growth and future success, April 9, 2024. 

Laughlin Air Force Base fosters and expands strong ties to the community through various community tours such as this. 

“We understand the importance of community at Laughlin,” said Col. Andrew Katz, 47th Flying Training Wing deputy commander. “The tour with Leadership Del Rio is a great example of how we're opening our doors and minds to foster a deeper connection with the people of Del Rio. By working alongside and partnering with our community, we are collectively stronger and more resilient.” 

Leadership Del Rio is a program designed to nurture and prepare young professionals to become agents of change within their community. The program aims to educate participants on local history, culture, government and the economy. The program fosters a sense of community, shared purpose and provides networking opportunities. 

“The tour at Laughlin has significantly enriched the Leadership Del Rio participants’ experiences by offering a firsthand look at the base’s integral role within the community and vice versa,” said Janice Pokrant, Matrix Design Group Inc. senior planner and Del Rio Leadership teacher. “This rare glimpse into Laughlin Air Force Base’s daily operations helped foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the military’s contributions to national security and community development.” 

Participants of Leadership Del Rio were offered a comprehensive view of the base’s operations, encompassing insights into the 47th Medical Group, 47th Security Forces Squadron, aerospace physiology, the Roberto “Bobby” Barerra Elementary Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) school, Anderson Hall, flight simulators, the air traffic control tower, radar approach control and finally the flightline. 

"The Leadership Del Rio program plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between the military and civilian sectors in Del Rio, fostering mutual understanding and integration,” said Pokrant. “Civic engagement and leadership form a dynamic force that can drive significant and lasting improvements in our community.” 

These homegrown leaders have the potential to act as catalysts within the Del Rio community for development and meaningful change. The ongoing interactions facilitated through events such as these not only benefit the Del Rio community, but also enhance Laughlin’s operational capabilities and its role in building combat ready Airmen, leaders and pilots.