For 15 Vance lieutenants, airpower started here, today

  • Published
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The U.S. Air Force awarded wings to 15 new pilots today during the graduation of Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 16-09 at Vance Air Force Base.

All but two of the new pilots will leave here for other locations for additional aviation training. Those two will remain at Vance AFB to train future pilots to fly the T-6A Texan II and the T-1A Jayhawk.

Brig. Gen. Charles L. Moore Jr., the deputy director of Global Operations at the Pentagon, was the guest speaker for the graduation, held at 10 a.m. in the base auditorium.

Attending were guests, family and friends of Class 16-09. Also attending were members of Class 17-09, the newest student pilot class.

Graduation certificates and distinguished graduate awards were presented to the new pilots by Col. Clark Quinn, the 71st Flying Training Wing commander.

Lt. Col. David Smith, the 71st Operations Group deputy commander, presented awards for academic excellent, leadership and flying training.

General Moore presented the Air Education and Training Command commander’s trophies.

Award winners were:
Academic Excellence in the T-1A Jayhawk, 2nd Lt. Craig Clark; T-38 Talon, 2nd Lt. Samuel Mittelman.
Leadership Award in the T-1, 2nd Lt. Craig Clark; T-38, 2nd Lt. Nathaniel Sunnekalb.
Flying Training Award in the T-1, 2nd Lt. Craig Clark; T-38, 2nd Lt. Garret Wilson.
Distinguished Graduate in the T-1, 2nd Lt. Craig Clark; T-38, 2nd Lt. Garret Wilson.
The Daedalian AETC Commander’s Trophy in the T-1, 2nd Lt. Craig Clark; T-38, 2nd Lt. Garret Wilson.

Recipients of the Risner River Rats Awards were: T-1, 2nd Lt. Jazmind Roberts; T-38, 2nd Lt. Timothy Potts.

The 15 new pilots in Class 16-09 were 2nd Lts. Nathaniel P. Sunnekalb, Craig A. Clark, Garrett A. Faber, Moranda A. Humphreys, Samuel A. Mittelman, Jasmine G. Nicklas, Robin E. O'Connor, Taylor E. Pearce, Timothy D. Potts, Wesley W. Reeder, Patrick J. Regan, Jazmind L. Roberts, Barrett B. Stehr, Miles H. Weston and Garret J. Wilson.

The graduates received assignments for training in the:
KC-135 Stratotanker, an aerial refueling and transport aircraft;
F-16 Fighting Falcon, a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft;
MQ-9 Reaper, an armed, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft;
C-17 Globemaster III, the Air Force’s newest, most flexible cargo aircraft;
C-130J Hercules, a tactical airlift vehicle capable of operating from undeveloped airfields;
T-1A Jayhawk, a medium-range, twin-engine jet trainer;
T-6A Texan II, a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer;
E-8C Joint Stars, an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft;
RC-135, a large reconnaissance aircraft capable of a variety of missions.