June 30, 2015 —
SOUTHWEST ASIA, June 29, 2015 - Retired U.S. Army Gen. Colin
Powell once said, “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of
preparation, hard work and learning from failure.”
from the United States Air Force Academy traveled to an undisclosed location in
Southwest Asia as part of a summer program to obtain hands-on training prior to
entering the operational Air Force.
Air Force, also known as Ops AF, is a USAFA graduation-requirement summer
program that is cited by a majority of cadets as contributing greatly to their
decisions about which career field to pursue.
Air Force Academy jumpstarts future Air Force leaders by preparing cadets with
education and giving them an opportunity through the Ops AF program to see the
hard work men and women put forth behind the scenes to accomplish missions
around the world.
the sophomore and junior year, every cadet has to do Ops AF either at a
stateside or a deployed location,” said Cadet Jesse Chasteen. “To be selected
for a deployed location, cadets have to submit an application.”
deployed location application is a competitive program that selects the top 100
cadets who perform well, both academically and militarily.
visited various operational and logistic career fields during our stay,” said Chasteen.
“We’ve learned how squadrons depend on each other to get the mission done.”
learned about the mission and how to lead people through the complexity of an
operation. They also met with company grade officers and chief master sergeants
who shared some of their experiences and gave advice to the future leaders.
and professionalism are keys to being a good leader,” Chasteen recalled from
his discussion with senior leaders from the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.
cited one of his instructors who commented that one day he will be the person
standing in front of the base commander giving a briefing. This experience made
Chasteen’s one day into today.
one of those cadets who wanted to be a pilot [when I came here], but after
being out here and seeing different career fields, it’s pulling my attention
away,” said Cadet Kyle Post. “It’s an eye-opening to see other rated career
fields that are just as interesting or more interesting, to me, than being a
future Air Force leaders prepare for tomorrow through an education at the USAFA
and understanding of the hard work of maintainers, who keep the aircraft
flying, the defenders, who keep the installation secure, and the engineers, who
build the tents we live in.
cadets represent the next 20 years of our Air Force and for them to see
first-hand the deployed challenges our Airmen face is invaluable, especially
considering the fact that in roughly two years they’ll be charged with leading
these same Airmen,” said Maj. Jeremy Farlaino, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing
deputy wing plans and programs.