News>Local children given tour of base to honor late father
RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Master Sgt. Markus Fuehrmann, 100th Operations Support Squadron, explains air traffic control procedures to the Ewing family Aug. 10, 2012. Tragedy struck the family in 2008, when Ministry of Defence Police Sergeant Jimmy Ewing died of a heart attack, leaving his wife Isobel to raise their two young children, Callum and Denna, who were 8 and 2 respectively at the time. A family friend and former coworker of Ewing arranged a tour of the base for his children and widow so they could get a glimpse at what his life was like when he was stationed at RAF Mildenhall. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Austin M. May)
RAF MILDENHALL, England – Isobel Ewing helps her daughter Denna, 6, adjust a pair of binoculars during a tour of the air traffic control tower here Aug. 10, 2012. The tour was to allow Ewing’s two children to get a glimpse into the working life of their late father, who was a Ministry of Defence Police sergeant stationed at RAF Mildenhall. Sgt. Jimmy Ewing passed away from a heart attack in 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Austin M. May)
RAF MILDENHALL, England – Callum Ewing, 12, adjusts a pair of binoculars during a tour of the air traffic control tower here Aug. 10, 2012. In addition to the tower, the Ewing family was able to visit the KC-135 Stratotanker flight simulator and Phoenix Bird Control’s facility. The tour was to allow Ewing, his mother and sister to get a glimpse into the life of their late father, who was a Ministry of Defence Police sergeant stationed at RAF Mildenhall, before he passed away from a heart attack in 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Austin M. May)
RAF MILDENHALL, England – Callum Ewing, 12, holds an eagle owl at the Phoenix Bird Control’s facility here Aug. 10, 2012. The visit was part of a tour designed to allow Ewing, his mother and sister to get a glimpse into the working life of their late father, who was a Ministry of Defence Police sergeant stationed at RAF Mildenhall, before he passed away from a heart attack in 2008. Family friend and fellow MoD Police Sergeant Chris Fisher arranged the visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Austin M. May)
by Staff Sgt. Austin M. May
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
8/14/2012 - RAF MILDENHALL, England -- In 2008, a sudden heart attack claimed the life of Ministry of Defence Police Sgt. Jimmy Ewing, leaving behind a wife and two young children who barely had time to get to know their dad.
Now, thanks to an old friend of Jimmy's, the kids have been given an opportunity to see a small part of the man their father was when he was stationed at RAF Mildenhall.
Fellow MoD Police Sgt. Chris Fisher, who served with Ewing at several duty stations, has kept in touch with his widow, Isobel, who told Fisher her children had begun asking questions about their father. Together, they set to work arranging a base tour for the family.
On Aug. 10, Fisher escorted Isobel and her children Callum, 12, and Denna, 6, onto RAF Mildenhall for a brief glimpse into the life of their dad.
The day began with a visit to the KC-135 Stratotanker simulator, where pilots from the 351st Air Refueling Squadron let the kids try their hand at flying the 100th Air Refueling Wing's workhorse aircraft. Callum said he and his dad used to talk about the planes based here, so getting to take the controls of one - even if it was simulated - was a memorable experience.
After the sim flight, Callum, Denna and Isobel were given a bird's-eye view of the base while Master Sgt. Markus Fuehrmann, 100th Operations Support Squadron, explained the role of air traffic controllers here. From the ATC tower cab, the group surveyed the base with binoculars provided by Fuehrmann and watched a 352nd Special Operations Group MC-130P Combat Shadow take off.
For the finale of their tour, Fisher arranged what was to become Callum's favorite part of the day: a visit to the Phoenix Bird Control facility. While there, falconer John Mutton let the children hold his eagle owl and gave them a demonstration of falconry and how it's used on base.
Fisher said he was glad to arrange the visit for the kids, because Ewing was a long-time friend and he felt it was important for them to get a better understanding for the chapter in his life that involved RAF Mildenhall.
Col. Nancy Bozzer, 100th Operations Group commander, also recognized the importance of the day.
"As a member of the Ministry of Defence Police, Sergeant Jimmy Ewing was an essential part of Team Mildenhall," she said. "By providing the crucial security and protection that our base personnel and assets required, his daily efforts had significant impact on the continued success of the United States and the United Kingdom's partnership and mission.
"It is important for our children, who are tomorrow's leaders, to understand what their parents have contributed to and been a part of," the colonel continued. "This is an opportunity to bring to life Sergeant Ewing's selfless professional accomplishments that his children could only hear about or glimpse from outside the fence.
"It is our distinct pleasure and honor to have Callum and Denna accompany us so we can express to them our gratitude and appreciation for their father's contributions."