VAFB success continues through weekend

  • Published
  • By Col Mike Callan
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Team Vance -- success continues to shine on the 71st Flying Training Wing!
Many of Team Vance's "weekend warriors" distinguished themselves Saturday by inspiring tomorrow's U.S. Air Force leaders with the thrill of controlling a jet aircraft. Under a program called JETO (ROTC Jet Orientation), Team Vance (primarily the 8th Flying Training Squadron, 33rd FTS, life support, air traffic controllers and our T-37 maintainers) had committed months ago to fly hundreds of ROTC cadets from around the country on incentive rides in the venerable
T-37! ROTC cadets arrived on several commercial carriers early Saturday morning ready and willing to fulfill a dream many have had since childhood and we delivered on that commitment -- the entire team flew a total of 226 sorties (216 ROTC cadet sorties -- every cadet got a ride -- and 10 necessary instructor sorties)! In sports verbiage, I'd call this a slam dunk, a home run and a top-shelf goal all rolled into one! Not only did we get the cadets off the ground and give up a Saturday with our families, but we did so safely! The 32nd FTS even managed to sneak out a few cross-country sorties and members of the wing staff, support and medical groups were here as well supporting the flying mission -- awesome! My hats off to all of Team Vance for delivering success and safety to this valuable program.
I'd also like to draw some attention to our 71st Logistics Readiness Squadron, 71st Mission Support Squadron, command post and color guard for their tireless efforts over the past week supporting one military funeral and the unfortunate notification of next of kin for a young enlisted member who passed away defending our freedom in Iraq! The required coordination with the Air Force Personnel Center to ensure accuracy was critical, bringing the required number of trained military professionals over a weekend together key. Doing their duties with skill, precision and compassion in very difficult situations is not easy -- yet our members stepped up bigtime and delivered success! I echo my remarks above -- my hats off to all of Team Vance who unselfishly turned these very trying moments for members of our Air Force family into moments of compassion and care!
The thermometer continues to climb and your safety is paramount to us being able to successfully train the world's best pilots! Stay hydrated, stay indoors as much as possible (hopefully with air-conditioning) and be safe in everything you do. Take care of your wingman and enjoy the weekend!