Salutes & Awards

June 21, 2013

Academy cadets get taste of real AF life

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.

Air Force Academy Cadet 2nd Class Joshua Burdge, left, installs a 20mm gun drum on an F-16 June 14 on the flightline. The cadets spent the day shadowing armament systems specialists from the 308th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. The cadets also visited the medical group, public affairs, finance and security forces. The cadets were participating in Operation Air Force, a program designed to give cadets operational Air Force experience before graduation.

Nine U.S. Air Force Academy cadets recently participated in Operation Air Force here at Luke Air Force Base. The program is designed to give cadets real-world operational Air Force experience prior to graduation.

Second Lt. Sarah Dugan, 308th Aircraft Maintenance Unit assistant officer-in-charge, oversaw the cadets while they were here. Dugan, who previously participated in the program, explained that the program is designed to expose cadets to different career fields.

“It basically shows them what active-duty life is like, what it’s like to be an officer and how the enlisted corps works,” she said. “They come to understand how life works on a real operational base and what to expect once they graduate.”

The cadets spent a day with finance, maintenance, medical, force support, logistics and public affairs.

“What we are mostly focused on is that they spend a full day with a specific career field,” Dugan said. “They walk through from start to finish. They will be directly shadowing a career field. They will physically train with the units and will be going to meetings with them.”

Cadets can make important contacts with active-duty officers and get more in-depth, behind-the-scenes information on specific career fields through the program.

“This is a time where they are sniffing out what they want to do,” Dugan said. “I know a lot of officers who have gone into things like pilot training and other rigorous career fields and fallen out of those training programs. They then had to depend on their Operation Air Force experience to figure out what career field to go to next. It’s a good resource for them. If they don’t get their first career choice, they know what else they are interested in.”

Cadet 2nd Class Joshua Burdge discovered that he enjoyed the maintenance career field after visiting various units.

“Aside from pilot, the career field I like so far is maintenance,” Burdge said. “From an officer’s standpoint I like the fact that you’re actually leading people. In contracting, you have like two people you’re in charge of and pilots are in charge of themselves and the aircraft. I think that is very awesome.”

Cadet 2nd Class Kathleen McQueeney also found the maintenance career field to be of interest, though initially she gave it no thought.

“I think intelligence or maintenance is what I am leaning toward right now,” McQueeney said. “I didn’t think maintenance would interest me at all, until I came here and actually saw what they do.”

Dugan said she believes the experience provided the cadets a better understanding of what to expect after graduation, and she feels the cadets are ready to become great officers.

“They now have a clear picture of what they can expect from different career fields, the roles and responsibilities of different ranks, and how everyone pulls together to make the mission happen here at Luke,” Dugan said. “I am proud of them in this respect, and I have no doubt they will go on to become great officers in two years when they graduate from the Academy in whatever career field they are assigned.”

The nine cadets are juniors and will graduate in 2015. A second group of cadets is scheduled to visit Luke in July. The program is a 2004 directive from the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Photos by Senior Airman James Hensley

Embracing past, leading present, shaping future

Photos by Senior Airman James Hensley Luke Air Force Base Thunderbolts attend the maintenance professional of the year banquet Saturday at Luke. The 2014 best-of-the-best maintainers, family members and guests came to show supp...
 
 
4_150301-F-BI157-031

Salutes and Awards

Ceremony recognizes top tier Five chief selects stand in front of the No. 1 table at the chief recognition ceremony Feb. 28 at Club Five Six. The newest chief master sergeants had 56 seconds to address the chiefs’ mess, their...
 
 

Airmen get T-bolts to give blood, win award

Tech. Sgt. Alisa Frisch, 56th Medical Group unit training manager, and Capt. Sharlott Uriarte, 56th Medical Support Squadron, were among the top 3 percent of award-winning blood drive coordinators recently honored by United Blood Services, earning a Hero Award for providing the largest impact on the blood supply. Of the 1,080 organizations that sponsored blood...
 

 

ALS graduates 44 senior airmen

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 44 senior airmen Feb. 12 from class 15-2. The award winners are: John L. Levitow: Melinda Charlton, 944th Force Support Squadron Distinguished graduates: Christopher White, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron; Kayleigh McGill, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron; and Curtus Cowles, 162nd Fighter Wing Commandant’s Award: Matthew McLaughl...
 
 
Airman Pedro Mota

Luke’s best shine Pt. 2

Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota Master Sgt. Francis Willis, 607th Air Control Squadron flight chief, Emcee’s for the annual awards ceremony Feb. 13, 2015 at the Wigwam Spa and Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona.   — Nomine...
 
 

Salutes and Awards

Tech. Sgt. Louis Vega FROM LEFT: The 944th Fighter Wing 2014 winners are Senior Master Sgt. Chin Cox, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, Majs. Bryan Dalton and Eric Puels, 69th Fighter Squadron, Senior Master Sgt. David Merris, 944th Force Support Squadron, Tech. Sgt. Jovita Holguin, 47th Fighter Squadron, Staff Sgt. David Hainley, 924th Operations Support Flight,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin