First UPT class of the year graduates at Vance, 26 pin on wings

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Twenty-six students in Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 24-03 received their wings during a ceremony held Jan. 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 programs at Vance.

The guest speaker at the Class 24-03 graduation ceremony was Col. Joel Pauls, the 71st Operations Group commander at Vance. An Air Force Academy graduate, Pauls earned his pilot wings at Vance in 2001 and was an instructor pilot with the 8th Flying Training Squadron until 2004. He is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours in the T-37 Tweet, T-38 Talon and the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Class 24-03 award winners were:
1st Lt. Thomas McCurdy received the Academic Award;
Capt. John Lancaster received the Leadership Award;
2nd Lt. Colin Gifford received the Flying Training Award, the Air Education & Training Command Commander’s Trophy and was named a Distinguished Graduate;
1st Lt. Jonathon Davis and 2nd Lt. Alex Ramsperger were named Distinguished Graduates;
1st Lt. Cole Mooty received the Wingman Award.

Also receiving their pilot wings during the ceremony were:
1st Lts. Austin Amour, Colton Blatchford, Joshua Block, Mark Mackenzie; 2nd Lts. Faisal Alnahedh, Braydon Altorfer, Jacob Anderson, Diego Arrieta, Justin Boucher, Reece Cooke, Conner Edwards, Nathan Holloway, Ryan Kauffman, Janson Lesser, James Mannette, Stephen Ponder, Jacob Spiewak, Jacob Waltermire, Solomon White and Thomas Zammataro.