Members from the SRQ Composite Squadron recently traveled to Orlando for the Air Force Association’s 34th Annual Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition. Making the trip were four cadets and a senior member from Sarasota who were joined by a visiting Michigan CAP member. The event provided the cadets an opportunity to engage with defense and aerospace industry professionals and Air Force senior leadership while gaining insight into industry trends. This year’s theme was "Innovation: The Warfighter's Edge" and featured influential keynote speakers and impressive technology exhibitions.
Cadet Tech Sargent Tyler Lewis made the journey “to learn about the new technology used in air warfare”. Cadet Senior Airmen Maxwell Howard was also interested in seeing the technology and “high-ranking Air Force officers”. Cadet Master Sargent Natalie Putnam wanted to attend the event “to build a better connection with the Air Force”.
The cadets explored the technology exhibit for five hours. Much time was spent running the ground-bases training systems through their paces, including Lockheed Martin-Korean Aerospace Industries' T-50A and the Leonardo T-100 Italian trainer aircraft. The two models are locked in competition to become the replacement for the Air Force’s current training aircraft, the Northrop T-38 Talon. The four cadets agreed that they “liked like the T-50”. The cadets also had a hand with an General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper trainer where they talked with an Air Force veteran who flew drones for five years on active duty.
During lunch, they met Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, Commander and President Air University Maxwell Air Force Base. He spoke with the cadets about how the programs offered by Civil Air Patrol and the Reserve Officers Training Course help prepare them for a career in the Air Force.
During their visit, the cadets interacted with augmented reality technology in helmets featuring heads-up display. They explored tactical lighting from flashlights to runway lights. They even practiced their flight line marshalling skills with lighted wands.
Putnam said she was surprised to learn that that companies in the aerospace and defense industry are competitors for some projects and at the same time collaborate on other projects.
The cadets unanimously agreed that the highlight of the day was meeting General David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Va. The four-star general serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping the Air Force’s “Total Force” serving in the United States and overseas.
Goldfein presented a challenge coin to each of the cadets and asked about their future plans. All four cadets said they wanted to become Air Force pilots.
“Good,” said Goldfein. “We need you.”
CAP members attending, included: C/1st Lt Jesse Yong, FL044; C/MSgt Natalie Putnam, FL044; C/TSgt Tyler Lewis, FL044; C/SrAm Maxwell Howard, FL044; Capt. AnnMarie Kozloski, FL044; Lt. Col. Nick Modder, MNWG.
Pictured L to R: C/MSgt Natalie Putnam; C/TSgt Tyler Lewis; General David Goldfein, USAF; C/SrAm Maxwell Howard; C/1st Lt Jesse Yong. (Photo credit: Capt. A. Kozloski, FL044)
L to R: C/SrAm Maxwell Howard; C/TSgt Tyler Lewis; Lt. Col. Nick Modder, CAP; Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, USAF; C/1st Lt Jesse Yong; C/MSgt Natalie Putnam (Photo credit: Capt A. Kozloski, FL044)
C/1st Lt Jesse Yong goes wheels up aboard Lockheed Martin-Korean Aerospace Industries' T-50A ground-bases training system during the Air Force Association’s 34th Annual Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition. (Photo credit: Capt A. Kozloski, FL044)
C/TSgt Tyler Lewis on T50A flight simulator. (Photo credit: Capt. A. Kozloski, FL044)
Lockheed Martin representative, Bobby Hallum, explains finer points of the T50A flight simulator to C/MSgt Natalie Putnam. (Photo credit: Capt A. Kozloski, FL044)