Former Vance commander guest speaker at Class 23-09 graduation

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Twenty-one students in Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 23-09 received their wings during a ceremony held May 5 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 23-09 graduation ceremony was retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Darren James, whose last active-duty assignment was as the Special Assistant to the Commander, KC-46 Enterprise Lead, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

James was an instructor pilot with the 8th Flying Training Squadron at Vance from February 1996 to March 1997. He returned to Vance to serve as an instructor pilot and flight commander with the 32nd Flying Training Squadron from February 1998 to June 1999. In June 2012, James returned once more to command the 71st Flying Training Wing for two years.

The Class 23-09 award winners were:
2nd Lt. Vincent Miczek received the Academic Award;
Maj. Brian Dienst received the Leadership Award; 
1st Lt. Ken Hao Edmund Teow received the Flying Training Award, the Air Education & Training Command Commander’s Trophy and was named a Distinguished Graduate;
Capt Damian Hoffmann was named a Distinguished Graduate;
2nd Lt. Parker Janicek received the Wingman Award.

Also receiving their pilot wings during the ceremony were: Capts. Daniel Kinnamon, Kyle Mullins; 1st Lts. Marcus Amico, Rose Fredericks, Samuel Overpeck; 2nd Lts. Colt Drew, Andrew Jones, Ryan Milanovits, Ian Moriarty, Anthony Nygren, Anthony Schrayer, Joshua Smith, Matthew Tygielski, Jacoby Ward, Lukas Weber, and Alexander Winschel.