New pole lets flags fly high over Air Attack Base

Scouts from Porterville’s Troop 124 say the Pledge of Allegiance during the flag-raising ceremony for the dedication of a new flag pole Wednesday at the Porterville Air Attack Base.

When the new Porterville Air Attack Base was opened six years ago at the Porterville Airport, the flag pole was really too small for the size of the base.

Nobody really thought much about the problem until July.

Along comes 17-year-old Sean T. Lane, Boy Scout and a member of Troop 124 of Porterville. Sean and his twin brother Kyle have been in the scouts for six years.

They are First Class scouts and want to become Eagle scouts. They had to do a public project to complete the Eagle scout requirements.

They are the sons of Joel and Val Lane of Springville and live just above Springville along with their younger brother, Trevor. Joel Lane works for the U.S. Forest Service, and is the FAO forest aviation officer for the Sequoia National Forest, and works out of the Porterville Air Attack Base.

Sean's chosen project became replacing the flag pole at the base. The project began by tearing down the old flag pole and installing a new one which was hand-built by Sean.

The pole is a 42 feet 4 inches of seamless steel pipe with a hand-made topper to hold the rope and support the flags.

The base was made out of two 5-foot sticks of 6-inch square steel tubing. The base was set in one and a half yards of concrete.

The pole was pinned between the base tubes with three one-inch bars of cold rolled steel. The whole assembly was then painted white.

A crane was brought in from Kurtz Truck Service of Strathmore to help raise the pole into place.

Sean took the lead in the project and brother Kyle jumped in to help when needed.

They have helped each other with their projects : Kyle's project at the Ponderosa scout camp will be completed soon.

Sean, along with Scoutmaster Tim Soursa and his fellow scouts from Troop 124, dedicated the flag pole at the base and raised the new Stars and Stripes and California state flag at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Sean and Kyle are 2008 graduates of Porterville High School and have earned scholarships to the College of the Sequoias starting this fall.

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