UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, Southwest Asia - 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.”
Cadets 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
Operation 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.
U.S. 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.
U.S. Air Force Academy cadets received hands-on training during a visit to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, June 10, 2015. The top 100 cadets who perform well, both academically and militarily, are selected to participate in the Operation Air Force program at deployed locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Racheal E. Watson)
“Between 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.”
location application is a competitive program that selects
the top 100 cadets who perform well, both academically and
“We've visited various operational and
logistic career fields during our stay,” said Chasteen.
“We've learned how squadrons depend on each other to get the
Cadets 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.
professionalism are keys to being a good leader,” Chasteen
recalled from his discussion with senior leaders from the
386th Air Expeditionary Wing.
Chasteen 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
“I was 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 pilot.”
Successful 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.
By U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Racheal E. Watson
Comment on this article