A Letter from Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr.

I enthusiastically support the Department of Defense STARBASE program. Over the past ten years, STARBASE Swamp Fox has grown tremendously and now reaches over 1,100 students per year, from twenty one schools and nine school districts. STARBASE Swamp Fox has certainly enabled us to reach our communities and students in a unique and meaningful way.

The partnerships between the South Carolina National Guard and DoD STARBASE support and greatly enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for all involved. Our military volunteers who assist the full time staff provide great role models and our students are introduced, usually for the first time in their lives, to this military culture. Their excitement is beyond measure as they launch model rockets they built themselves or feel the vibrations as they witness the roaring takeoff of an F-16 heading out on a training mission. Afterwards, they visit the hangar and see a fighter aircraft "up close and personal" and visit the Army Aviation Support Facility and learn about the operation of Apache and Blackhawk helicopters. This is an environment that cannot be duplicated in a traditional classroom setting .

I am encouraged and excited that our program continues to expand. This school year, we are moving into the Middle School arena with the DoD STARBASE 2.0 program. Many of the students that came through the program as fifth graders will now have the opportunity to continue the "hands-on, minds-on" approach to learning in STEM areas. Our basic program is increasing the number of classes being offered each week, allowing more schools and students to attend. STARBASE Swamp Fox also collaborated with their Air Guard hosts last summer to provide a STEM-day activity prior to our weekend Air and Ground Expo in which over 5,000 students attended and encouraged planning a similar opportunity in the spring in conjunction with our Air National Guard Family Day.

I am enthusiastic about DoD STARBASE and look forward to seeing STARBASE Swamp Fox continue to grow and serve our communities. I fully support the Department of Defense efforts to ignite and cultivate STEM interests in the youth of our state and nation - an interest that will help us to meet the demands of the future.

Sincerely,

Robert E. Livingston, Jr.

Major General, SCARNG

The Adjutant General


Posted September 2018