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479th FTG showcases CSO mission with STEM students

479th Flying Training Group Tour

Combat System Officer instructors let STEM students from the Summerdale School, strap into a T-6 trainer ejection seat during a tour of the 479th Flying Training Group November 3, 2021 at Naval Air Station-Pensacola. The visit gave students exposure to flight operations to include the control tower, T-6 simulators, aircrew flight equipment (AFE), and T-6/T-1 static displays.

479th Flying Training Group Tour

Capt. Katie Meckler and Maj. Kiersten Thompson, 479th Flying Training Group combat system officer instructors, show STEM students from the Summerdale School a T-1 Jayhawk aircraft November 3, 2021 at Naval Air Station-Pensacola. The visit gave students exposure to flight operations to include the control tower, T-6 simulators, aircrew flight equipment (AFE), and T-6/T-1 static displays.

479th Flying Training Group Tour

Maj. John Tiner, 479th Flying Training Group combat system officer instructor, explains the capabilities of the T-6 Texan II aircraft to STEM students from the Summerdale School November 3, 2021 at Naval Air Station-Pensacola. The visit gave students exposure to flight operations to include the control tower, T-6 simulators, aircrew flight equipment (AFE), and T-6/T-1 static displays.

Naval Air Station-Pensacola, Fla. --

The 479th Flying Training Group hosted 12 eighth grade STEM students from the Summerdale School at Naval Air Station Pensacola on November 32021.  The visit gave students exposure to flight operations to include the control tower, T-6 simulators, aircrew flight equipment (AFE), and T-6/T-1 static displays.

The visits have become a yearly tradition in hopes of sparking an interest in military aviation within the local youth community. Many of the students have no military or aviation background so the exposure serves as a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

Throughout the past few years, many of the students have benefitted from the partnership and shown increased motivation and diligence in their schooling, as well as extracurricular activities, due to their new found interest in military service and the aviation career field.

“This partnership has really grown throughout the past 3 to 4 years. It’s incredible to see these student’s light up and experience things they likely never would have experienced otherwise." said Maj. John Tiner, 479th Flying Training Group T-6 branch chief,  "Whether that be visiting the control tower, observing the maintenance personnel, flying the simulators, or viewing the static aircraft displays. The school’s program director  provides feedback throughout the year regarding  student performance in the classroom which has continually increased due to their new found motivation following these visits. If we can continue to provide that spark for even a single student, we’ve done something right.”