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CAP Cadets Swarm Beale and MacDill AFB for Aircrew Careers Week

Posted on March 5, 2024 at 2:00 PM by Alfred Flateau

CAP Cadets Swarm Beale and MacDill AFB for Aircrew Careers Week


CAP’s first Aircrew Careers Weekend (ACW) in February introduced 70 cadets to opportunities within the Air Force. ACW allowed cadets to explore Beale Air Force Base in northern California and MacDill AFB in Florida. The goal of ACW is to assist the U.S. Air Force and foster diversity and inclusivity among aircrew ranks through their Rated Diversity Improvement (RDI) initiative.

Using an Air Force grant, CAPNHQ organized ACW to provide participants with exciting experiences, some of which included tours, demonstrations, and even flights aboard military aircraft. These trips not only offered a glimpse into the world of aviation but also contributed to the Air Force's commitment to nurturing the next generation of aircrew talent.

Now, ACW transitions into Aircrew Careers Day (ACD), with plans to expand its reach. Building on the success of the first activities, CAPNHQ hopes to reach more Air Force Bases and continue collaborating with the U.S. Air Force to inspire more cadets. Read the stories below to see if this is something you would like to participate in. If you like these pictures, visit our ACW SmugMug for even more. Maybe your squadron will be next to visit a nearby AFB. You can reach out to the RDI Programs Manager, AJ Flateau at for more information.

-National Cadet Team


ACW at Beale AFB

As the Activity Leader for ACW at Beale AFB, Lt Col Grace Edinboro CAP helped organize 5 squadrons from the San Francisco area. Lt Col Edinboro coordinated her efforts with CAPNHQ through AJ Flateau, the RDI Programs Manager for Cadet Programs, and Lt Col Eric Antonietti USAF as the Beale AFB representative. Lt Col Edinboro was specifically selected due to her outstanding leadership in prior activities, and once again she demonstrated her excellence. Thanks to Lt Col Antonietti and other Air Force professionals, cadets participated in a variety of Air Force activities such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Air Traffic Control (ATC) tours, and static displays of the U-2, T-38, and KC-135 aircraft. While exploring EOD, one cadet was able to wear the Advanced Bomb Suit (ABS) worn by soldiers to protect them from potential explosive devices. Cadets also had the opportunity to examine the pressure suit worn by pilots who fly the high-altitude U-2 spy plane. While inspecting the various aircraft, cadets had the chance to sit in the flight deck and other parts of a KC-135. The day concluded with a demonstration of military dogs in action. After this exciting day and a half, they returned home to share their stories with their families and squadrons.

Units Involved: PCR-CA-015, PCR-CA-096, PCR-CA-334, PCR-CA-346, and PCR-CA-414

C/Amn Dell from PCR-CA-334 using an
ordnance disposal robot

Photo Credits: Capt Remi Nadeau CAP

C/SSgt Prasad from PCR-CA-334 checking out the
pressure suit U-2 pilots wear

Photo Credits: Maj Chris Johnson CAP

C/SrA Gache Hernandez from PCR-CA-414 looking
awesome in front of a T-38

Photo Credits: Lt Col Grace Edinboro CAP



Cadets ACW Beale posing in a KC135

Photo Credits: Cap Ada Hurst CAP

C/CMSgt Devine from PCR-CA-015 experienced
what it was like to wear an ordnance disposal suit

Photo Credits: Cadet SrA Wilkins

C/SMSgt Wong from PCR-CA-414 sitting in
the flight deck of a KC-135

Photo Credits: Lt Col Grace Edinboro CAP



C/Amn Rhodes from CA-015 laying in

the boom operators station

Photo Credits: Capt Remi Nadeau CAP



ACW at MacDill AFB

A week after ACW Beale, Lt Col Sonia Soto CAP and her Deputy Commander of Cadets, Capt Alexis Mercado CAP, were carrying out a similar activity. Lt Col Soto from Pahokee Middle School traveled over 4 hours with her school squadron to MacDill AFB. There, the squadron met up with RDI Programs Manager Flateau and 1st Lt Alex Abanico USAF. With the planning and coordination of Capt Timothy Reed USAF, cadets had almost 2 hours to explore a KC-135. This exploration was important because the very next day they would be flying in a KC-135 during an actual air refueling mission. After the tour, cadets spent the night in a local hotel. Early the following morning, everyone headed back to MacDill to meet at the airfield. Aircrew members met and explained what the cadets would experience during the flight. Unfortunately, upon startup, one of the two KC-135s was not able to take off. This happens often as some of the aircraft are nearly 60 years old. As a result, a few cadets had to stay back and check out an A-10 instead. Meanwhile, cadets in the KC-135 had a chance to see an actual air refueling. Cadets sat in the rear of the aircraft right next to the boom operator, where they observed the refueling process and the aircrew in action. Cadets had the opportunity to explore the flight deck and other parts of the aircraft while in flight. Once the flight was over and with feet firmly on the ground, the cadets bid farewell to their Air Force friends and headed back home to Pahokee, FL.

Unit Involved: SER-FL-830

Cadets check out the flight deck of the KC135 while in flight C/MSgt Fonseca hanging out in with the boom operator during an inflight air refueling
Lt Col Soto CAP and C/TSgt Arrieta sitting in the flight deck of the KC-135 while in flight



Cadets preparing to go out to the flight line for their KC-135 flight Formation for SER-FL-830 Twin Sisters C/A1C Garcia and C/SrA Garcia-Campos pose mid flight in the KC135



1st Lt Abanico USAF posing with C/TSgt Thompson,
C/MSgt Phillips, and AFROTC Cadet Wilson

Photo Credits: Lt Col Sonia Soto CAP




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