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First-graders from Joan K. Mendel Elementary lined up along the flight line Nov. 2, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, to tour a C-130 cargo plane and a UH-1 helicopter.
First-graders from Joan K. Mendel Elementary lined up along the flight line Nov. 2, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, to tour a C-130 cargo plane and a UH-1 helicopter. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)
First-graders from Joan K. Mendel Elementary lined up along the flight line Nov. 2, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, to tour a C-130 cargo plane and a UH-1 helicopter.
First-graders from Joan K. Mendel Elementary lined up along the flight line Nov. 2, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, to tour a C-130 cargo plane and a UH-1 helicopter. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)
First-graders from Joan K. Mendel Elementary cheered on their teacher, Samuel Montgomery, as he got on the field with a dog from the 374th Security Forces K-9 unit during a base tour Nov, 2, 2011. The students got a front row seat to the various operations on the base on their day-long tour.
First-graders from Joan K. Mendel Elementary cheered on their teacher, Samuel Montgomery, as he got on the field with a dog from the 374th Security Forces K-9 unit during a base tour Nov, 2, 2011. The students got a front row seat to the various operations on the base on their day-long tour. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)
First-graders from Joan K. Mendel Elementary toured the flight line Nov. 2, 2011 at Yokota Air Base.
First-graders from Joan K. Mendel Elementary toured the flight line Nov. 2, 2011 at Yokota Air Base. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)
First-graders from Samuel Montgomery's class at Joan K. Mendel Elementary lined up along the flight line Nov. 2, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, to tour a C-130 cargo plane and UH-1 helicopter.
First-graders from Samuel Montgomery's class at Joan K. Mendel Elementary lined up along the flight line Nov. 2, 2011, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, to tour a C-130 cargo plane and UH-1 helicopter. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)
Dressed in his flight suit and ready to fly, Gunner Aflleje, a first-grader at Joan K. Mendel Elementary, gets behind the cockpit of a C-130 Nov. 2, 2011 at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Aflleje said he hopes to be a pilot like his grandfather. Mendel students were treated to a front row seat to various operations on the base.
Dressed in his flight suit and ready to fly, Gunner Aflleje, a first-grader at Joan K. Mendel Elementary, gets behind the cockpit of a C-130 Nov. 2, 2011 at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Aflleje said he hopes to be a pilot like his grandfather. Mendel students were treated to a front row seat to various operations on the base. (Grant Okubo/Stars and Stripes)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — An enthusiastic group of first-graders from Yokota’s Joan K. Mendel Elementary School went behind the scenes Tuesday to check out base operations.

The students were given a tour of the flight line, air traffic control tower and fire department. They also got a short demonstration of the military dogs in action and were given the chance to get behind the cockpit of both a C-130 cargo plane and a UH-1 helicopter.

Dressed in his flight suit and ready to fly, Gunner Aflleje really enjoyed the chance to climb behind the controls of the C-130.

“My grandfather is a pilot. I want to be a pilot,” Gunner, 6, said, showing off a patch that was once worn by his grandfather.

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