Nineteen students receive their pilot wings during Class 23-07 graduation ceremony

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Nineteen students in Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 23-07 received their wings during a ceremony held March 24 at Vance Air Force Base.

Having completed their initial aviation training in the T-6A Texan II, the newly pinned pilots will continue in either the T-1A Jayhawk or the T-38C Talon training aircraft at Vance.

The guest speaker at the Class 23-07 graduation ceremony was Air Force Col. Terence Taylor, the 27th Special Operations Wing commander from Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. Taylor received his pilot wings at Vance in June 1998. During his career, he has flown more than 4,800 hours, including more than 1,800 combat hours.

The Class 23-07 award winners were:
2nd Lt. Evan Charlton received the Academic Award;
2nd Lt. Daniel Paolillo received the Leadership Award;
2nd Lt. Alexander Mehnert received the Flying Training Award, the Air Education & Training Command Commander’s Trophy and was named a Distinguished Graduate;
2nd Lt. Ellis Syke was also named a Distinguished Graduate;
2nd Lt. Benjamin Ward received the Wingman Award.

Also receiving their pilot wings during the ceremony were: 2nd Lts. Alton Brieske, Brad Douglas, Giovanni Flores, William Lacey, Dustin Magilligan, Zeke Mammen, Charles Schexnayder, Jaden Smith, Jay Solo, Andrew Wardle, Alec Watson, Ethan Wentler, Kiersten Winfrey and Kyle Wipf.