Air Force ROTC cadets, cadre experience NATO pilot training, alliance

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  • Air University Public Affairs

Several cadets and cadre took part in Air Force ROTC’s inaugural Fly NATO professional development training this summer.

The two-week trip, June 11-24, encompassed four countries: United States, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany.

The purpose of the trip was to expose the cadets to NATO operations and provide them with immersive experiences to give them a broadened understanding of the alliance’s mission and participating nations and the Air Force’s role in NATO, according to one of the two ROTC cadre members on the trip, Maj. Christopher Pope, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Ariz. The other cadre member was Maj. Jessica Hinson, University of Louisville, Ky.

Starting off, the eight cadets and cadre were able to get an up-close look at the Euro-NATO Joint Pilot Training Program at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. This gave them the experience of being in a pilot training environment under NATO, with students and instructors from several different nations.

 After three days at the Texas base, they traveled to Europe to experience coalition training with NATO members and visiting NATO Headquarters in Brussels and immersing themselves in the airborne warning and control system, or AWACS, mission at a base in Germany. Their time in Europe also included spending four days at a NATO base, a completely unique experience for them, as was experiencing the culture and sights of the European countries they visited.

“We designed this leader-development opportunity to expose cadets to NATO operations and the importance of the Alliance,” said Brig. Gen. Houston Cantwell, commander, Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, the parent organization for AFROTC. “This was modeled after an ROTC program I attended 30 years ago when I spent two weeks in Great Britain with the Royal Air Force. If they walk away from the experience like I did, then this trip provided them flying and cultural experiences that they’ll never forget!”

The cadets who went on the PDT and the schools they attend are:

Wyatt Steele, University of Washington
Henry Dennee, Norwich University, Vt.
Daniel Chuay, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Fla.
Jacob Kennedy, Texas A&M University
Joseph Edmund, Brigham Young University, Utah
Nicholas Maggs, The Ohio State University
Jack Lockett, Tennessee State University
Jordan Owens, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Ariz.