Jennifer LaChance - KF5HCD
After graduating from high school in 1975, I immediately enlisted in the USAF. In July of that same year, I departed for San Antonia and Lackland AFB. Six weeks later I was sent to Chanute AFB in Illinois for training as a Fire Protection Specialist.
My first real assignment was Altus AFB in Oklahoma. Altus was a MAC base, hosting the giant C-5A aircraft and the semi-giant C-141, along with a SAC contingent of KC-135 tankers. It was a great assignment, and I began my firefighting career with a terrific department! I trained hard, first as a "lineman" (one who handles the hoses and nozzles) then as a driver/operator of all the equipment assigned there.
A few months into my assignment at Altus, I was sent back to Chanute AFB for Munitions School. This was a two-week course to learn about various weapon systems and how best to deal with them when they are involved in a fire scenario. It was as fascinating as it was intensive!
In January of 1977 I was sent to Zweibrucken AB in Germany for a three-year tour. "Sunny Zwei" was home to a wing of RF-4C aircraft, as well as a few small Army aircraft used to transport film to other USAFE bases. I had a very well-rounded experience there, serving as a firefighter, fire extinguisher maintenance technician, and finally as a fire inspector. I loved every minute of it! It was here at Zweibrucken that I sewed on my fourth stripe!
My last assignment was at Cannon AFB near Clovis, New Mexico. Here I was introduced to the F-111D. As a Station Captain, I was periodically assigned to the one-man fire department at the Melrose bomb range. It was great duty, with days spent watching planes strafe and bomb a variety of targets. I was only at Cannon for six months, but in that time I responded to two major aircraft accidents and one major fuel spill.
Following my five year tour in the Air Force, I went to work at DFW International Airport in the Department of Public Safety. I received training and certification as a Peace Officer before spending the next 20 years as a firefighter, training officer and fire marshal. Another great job with some of the finest people I have ever known!
I currently work for NCR, Inc. Though the company is based in Atlanta, GA, I work out of my home providing customers with customization services for some of our off-the-shelf software. I also own a small business building spec tube amplifiers for guitars and repairing just about anything in the electronic world, from cell phones to drones to ham radio gear.
My station consists of a Kenwood TS-830S (fully accessorized), a Heathkit SB-220 amplifier and a Gap Titan DX vertical antenna. I recently acquired a Kenwood TS-530S, which will be reconditioned and used for 40-meters as well as a backup for the 830.
I joined the Flyers a couple years ago, and have found them to be the most personable, compassionate and sharing group of people I've ever had the pleasure to associate with. I look forward to the radio net each day, hoping and praying that signal propagation will be good and I'll be able to hear everyone!