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Weather Airmen share mission at Rose Bowl event

Airman showing young girl a paper airplane.

1st Lt. Sarah Olsen, 15th Operational Weather Squadron flight commander, shows a paper airplane to a child at Live on Green!, Pasadena, California, Dec. 30, 2019. Olsen used paper airplanes made by children to teach aerodynamic principles and how weather can affect flight. (Photo courtesy of Casey Rodgers, AP Images for Huerta Quorum)

Airmen posing with mascot for group photo.

Members of the 557th Weather Wing and 57th Operational Support Squadron pose for a group photo with Owlie Skywarn, the National Weather Service mascot, at Live on Green!, Pasadena, California, Dec. 29, 2019. The Airmen were in Pasadena representing Air Force Weather at Live on Green!, an annual event that offers entertainment and education to the 700,000 people visiting the area for the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game. (Courtesy photo)

Airman working on laptop next to weather station.

Staff Sgt. Alixandrea Garcia-Taylor, 2nd Combat Weather Systems Squadron’s NCO in charge of deployed weather systems training, sets up a Tactical Meteorological Observing System at Live on Green!, Pasadena, California, Dec. 29, 2019. The portable weather station, known as a TMQ-53, was on display as part of an Air Force Weather booth and is used to provide weather information in austere locations around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jeremy Mayo-Johnson)


As people prepared to celebrate the New Year’s holiday, five Airmen from units across the 557th Weather Wing journeyed to Pasadena, California.

Their mission was to tell the Air Force Weather story at Live on Green!, a free entertainment and education event that precedes the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game.

“This event enabled our diverse team of Airmen to educate the public about roles and capabilities within Air Force Weather,” said Capt. Jeremy Mayo-Johnson, 14th Weather Squadron climate development analyst and team lead at the event. “We were able to show people of all ages that meteorologists can be more than just weathermen on TV and that the Air Force has a wide variety of career opportunities.”

Live on Green!, now in its fifth year, offers entertainment and education to the 700,000 people who visit Pasadena for the annual parade and football game. Activities offered include musical performances, culinary demos, games and more.

The volunteers came from across the Weather Wing, representing a variety of weather career fields that included the 14th Weather Squadron, the Air Force’s only climate operations unit; the 2nd Combat Weather Systems Squadron, which handles equipment testing and maintenance; and the 15th, 17th and 26th Operational Weather Squadrons, which provide tailored weather solutions to optimize the Air Force and Army Total Force missions and mitigate environmental risk to missions and installations across the eastern contiguous United States and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.

Two Airmen from the 57th Operational Support Squadron’s weather flight, assigned to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, also joined the team.

On display were tools of the weather trade, including a Tactical Meteorological Observing System, handheld weather observing equipment and other visual aids.

As an interactive activity, children were encouraged to make paper airplanes. Their creations were then used to explain aerodynamic principles and meteorological hazards to aviation.

“I believe that our team's presence and engagement made an impact on many attendees that weekend,” Mayo-Johnson said. “For some, we planted seeds of curiosity in atmospheric science and the military application thereof.”

Also at Live on Green! were representatives from the LA County Sheriff, National Weather Service and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The exhibits collectively focused on weather as well as how to be prepared for severe weather.

In addition to inspiring children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as STEM, the event provided valuable insight for hosting educational outreach events in the future.