Wings awarded to 20 new pilots in Class 16-13

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VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Twenty junior officers received their pilot wings during Class 16-13’s graduation ceremony Aug. 19 at Vance Air Force Base.

Nineteen will leave here for other bases for additional training. The one remaining will become a first-assignment instructor pilot in the T-38 Talon.

One international allied student trained with Class 16-13, and will return to Singapore to fly fighter aircraft.

The ceremony, held in the base auditorium, was attended by guests, family and friends of Class 16-13. Also attending was Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 17-13, the newest class of student pilots.

Col. Paul Johnson, the 71st Operations Group commander, welcomed those attending and introduced the graduation speaker, Col. Leland Bohannon, commander of the Air Force Inspection Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

Following Bohannon, awards for academic excellence, leadership, flying training and distinguished graduate were presented by Johnson.

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

The Operations Group commander then presented graduation certificates and a set of pilot wings to the new pilots. Bohannon shook each graduate’s hand and passed on words of encouragement.

Award winners for Class 16-13 were:
Academic Excellence in the T-1A Jayhawk, Capt. Daniel Pittner; T-38 Talon, 2nd Lt. Russell Miller.
Leadership Award in the T-1, Capt. Daniel Pittner; T-38, 1st Lt. George Tyler.
Flying Training Award in the T-1, Capt. Daniel Pittner; T-38, 1st Lt. Alan Leong.
Distinguished Graduates in the T-1, Capt. Daniel Pittner; T-38, 2nd Lt. Russell Miller.
The Daedalian AETC Commander’s Trophy in the T-1, Capt. Daniel Pittner; T-38, 2nd Lt. Russell Miller.

Recipients of the Risner River Rats Awards were: T-1, 2nd Lt. Alexander Scheidel; T-38, 2nd Lt. Russell Miller.

Graduates of Class 16-13 were: Capt. Daniel O. Pittner; 1st Lts. Isaac D. Cathey, Alan Leong, George H. Tyler, Joshua N. Young; 2nd Lts. Bryan W. Bowser, Stewart L. Bryant, Kenneth M. Dickenscheidt, Joshua R. Hornberger, Alicia M. Horton, Matthew D. Jensen, Stephen G. Lochry, Christian K. Maude, Garrett L. Mazachek, Russell L. Miller, Matthew A. Mitch, Erik C. Openshaw, Alexander M. Scheidel, Thad M. Sollick, and Brenden M. Valenti.

The new pilots received assignments for training in the:
KC-135 Stratotanker, an aerial refueling and transport aircraft;
C-17 Globemaster III, the Air Force’s newest, most flexible cargo aircraft;
C-130 Hercules, a tactical airlift-vehicle capable of operating from undeveloped airfields;
F-15 Eagle, a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions;
A-10 Thunderbolt II, a close-air-support platform capable of excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitudes;
C-21, a twin turbofan-engine aircraft used for cargo and passenger airlift;
AC-130, a close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance aircraft;
F-22 Raptor, a fighter that combines stealth, supercruise, maneuverability and integrated avionics;
F-16 Fighting Falcon, a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft;
T-38 Talon, a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer.