Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida –
The 479th Flying Training Group hosted 12 eighth-grade STEM students from the Summerdale School at Naval Air Station Pensacola on November 3, 2021. The visit gave students exposure to flight operations to include the control tower, T-6 simulators, aircrew flight equipment, and T-6/T-1 static displays.
The visits have become a yearly tradition in hopes of sparking an interest in military aviation within the local youth community. Many of the students have no military or aviation background so the exposure serves as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Throughout the past few years, many of the students have benefitted from the partnership and shown increased motivation and diligence in their schooling, as well as extracurricular activities, due to their newfound interest in military service and the aviation career field.
“This partnership has really grown throughout the past 3 to 4 years. It’s incredible to see these students light up and experience things they likely never would have experienced otherwise, whether that be visiting the control tower, observing the maintenance personnel, flying the simulators, or viewing the static aircraft displays" said Maj. John Tiner, 479th Flying Training Group T-6 branch chief,
"The school’s program director provides feedback throughout the year regarding student performance in the classroom which has continually increased due to their newfound motivation following these visits," Tiner added. "If we can continue to provide that spark for even a single student, we’ve done something right.”