HomeNewsArticle Display

ACE Solo Flight Program concludes for 2019 at historic Tuskegee Airmen airfield

ACE Solo Flight Program

Amy McNaught, certified flight instructor, trains Kima Farr, Air Force’s A.C.E. Solo Flight program graduate and high school student, for a flight over Tuskegee, Alabama. A total of 48 students ages 16-22, consisting of 24 Air Force ROTC cadets, four U.S. Air Force Academy cadets, and 20 high school students participated in the flight program. Over the course of three weeks, they completed a combination of 480 flight hours, with over 37 students soloing the airplane. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- The Air Force concluded its Aviation-Character-Education Solo Flight Program, lead by Air Force Recruiting Service, after graduating the final class of the year, July 12, in Tuskegee, Alabama.

“It’s impressive to see these incredible students developing into young leaders and aviators,” said Maj. Jeri-Lynn Harper, the Tuskegee A.C.E. class director of operations and a E-3 Sentry pilot. “They’ve come together and worked hard to improve daily; which was evident in the amazing progress they made in such a short period of time. This has been a phenomenal opportunity for all of the cadre, certified flight instructors and students. We are so grateful to be a part of such an inspirational program.”

The A.C.E. Solo Flight Program, which began in 2018, is a unique, STEM--science, technology, engineering and math--focused summer program designed to motivate and mentor minorities and women to pursue aerospace careers, with an emphasis on Air Force opportunities.

For AFRS, the three-week program was a key element in the effort to increase diversity within the Air Force’s rated officer corps.

“The A.C.E. Solo Flight Program advances the warfighting imperative of increasing diversity and reducing the pilot shortage through meaningful engagement of the next generation of Airmen,” said Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, Air Force Recruiting Service commander.

AFRS set a historic milestone in that the program’s third class in Tuskegee marked the first time the Air Force has conducted flight training operations out of Moton Field since the illustrious Tuskegee Airmen learned how to fly there in the 1940s. The location was specifically chosen to honor the contributions and rich heritage of the Tuskegee Airmen.

The other two A.C.E. Solo Flight programs this summer were held at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals’ Lt. Col. Luke Weathers Jr. Flight Academy in Memphis, Tennessee. Cadre were comprised of Airmen representing operational and support career fields. The program’s success centered upon robust interaction with role models from all components of the Air Force: active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

“It was the most empowered I’ve ever felt,” said Sebastian Almonte, Air Force ROTC cadet, about his solo flight. “I had proven to myself that I had the skills and confidence to take off smoothly, fly safely and land perfectly.

A total of 48 students ages 16-22, consisting of 24 Air Force ROTC cadets, four U.S. Air Force Academy cadets and 20 high school students participated in the flight program. Over the course of three weeks, they completed a combination of 480 flight hours, with more than 37 students soloing an airplane. This milestone builds confidence that carries pilots throughout their entire aviation career.

“Soloing changed my outlook on aviation,” said Daniel Farrell, Air Force ROTC cadet. “It made me never want to stop flying.”

While aviation was the primary theme of the A.C.E. Solo Flight Program, students also benefited from a variety of experiences from their instructors who enhanced their abilities by developing character and education. Students practiced group leadership projects and listened to briefings on a variety of subjects that included aerospace career options, S.M.A.R.T. goal setting and resiliency. Additionally, students engaged in informational field trips to military bases and college tours and had the opportunity to hear from Air Force senior leaders about their career experiences and pathways.

“During the character and education portion of the camp, I learned a lot about myself,” said Sydney Flowers, a high school student. “Specifically, I learned the ways I need to improve in time management and study skills.”

AFRS intends to conduct a larger A.C.E. Solo Flight Program in summer 2020.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @thejointstaff: Watch today's change of responsibility ceremony, hosted by #GenMilley, live @ 10 a.m. EST on Twitter. @SEAC_Troxell wil…
RT @HQ_AFMC: 📽️We're back to the @Afresearchlab for Day 10 of #24DaysAFMC. This year they tested a state-of-the-art rocket #engine preburne…
RT @16AF_AFCYBER: The holiday season is a prime time for online thieves to take advantage of weaknesses in shoppers' devices to extract per…
RT @USAFCENT: ALWAYS READY | Members of the 823d Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron test their combat life-saving skills during a medical…
Nearly 10,000 participants from around the world took part in the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China. And… https://t.co/CRYacyFtEJ
Ever heard of the rule of 0-0-1-3? No. Well it means to have zero alcohol if you're underage, zero drinks if you're… https://t.co/7bNRnhYuWS
RT @HQ_AFMC: #Readiness was on display by our @AFResearchLab teams during a live-virtual-constructive training simulation, enabling #Airmen
RT @AFWERX: We can't wait for 2020: The @USAirForce Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is slated for July 8-9 in Salt Lake City & will bring t…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “The Silver Flag training sites provide our Airmen with real-world scenarios to reinforce our Air Force Specialty Code sk…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…
It was just a childhood dream but it crescendoed into this #Airman becoming the only woman in the #AirForce to both… https://t.co/vzGjPe7Vri