Pilot wings awarded to 25 graduates of UPT Class 23-08

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Twenty-five students in Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 23-08 received their wings during a ceremony held April 14 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 23-08 graduation ceremony was Air Force Gen. Mark Kelly, the commander of the Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. He earned his pilot wings in 1987 at Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. The general is a command pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours, including over 800 combat hours in fighter aircraft.

The Class 23-08 award winners were:
2nd Lt. Jacob Steiner received the Academic Award and was named a Distinguished Graduate;
Capt. David Russo received the Leadership Award;
2nd Lt. Matthew Leckrone received the Flying Training Award, the Air Education & Training Command Commander’s Trophy and was named a Distinguished Graduate;
2nd Lt. Jessica Stevens received the Wingman Award.

Also receiving their pilot wings during the ceremony were: Capt. Doan Van Canh; 1st Lts. Nicholas Melville, Justin Weber; 2nd Lts. Dawson Ayers, Kristopher Baker, Daniel Beeson, Eric Flynn, Selim Gezgin, Garrett Housley, Mark Jabour, Benjamin Jackson, Cameron Jolley, Ryan Joyner, Won Jong Lee, Robert Lewis, Shane Lobo, Christian Muñoz, Gabriel Oliveira, Elizabeth Ryan, Casey Sutara and Lukas Weber.