It might not be Top Gun or “Danger Zone,” but five student-cadets from R.B. Stall High School’s JROTC program are going to have the opportunity of their young lives this summer; they have have been selected to participate in the United States Air Force’s Aviation – Character – Education (ACE) Flight Program.
The USAF ACE Flight Program is a fast-paced, demanding, three-week character development and flight training program, with the primary objective being to help instill the positive character traits required for a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), particularly in aviation and/or the military.
The following student-cadets from R.B. Stall are participating: – Keivon Holmes, Sophomore – Antonia Kelly-Caswell, Junior – Hunter Kirby, Sophomore – Kaycee Koontz, Sophomore – Andrew Whitney, Junior. Each student-cadet in the ACE Flight Program receives intensive training through flight instruction, with the goal of flying solo (without an instructor) by the end of the course.
Lt. Col. Lonnie Ford, the Air Force JROTC Senior Aerospace Instructor at Stall, explained that organizations such as the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Young Eagles, Civil Air Patrol, and the Lowcountry Aviation Association opened the student’s eyes and set the foundation for their pursuit of an aviation career.
“They are ready and they will do well,” said Lt. Col. Ford. Koontz is currently doing her 21-day program on Johns Island at the Charleston Executive Airport; her session goes through June 22. Kelly’s class is currently underway as well; she is in Memphis, TN. Holmes and Whitney will participate in this course at Tuskegee, AL June 22-July 13, and Kirby is set to go to San Marcos, TX July 13-August 3.
“I am very grateful the opportunity to fly through the ACE program,” Kirby explained. “It gives me a chance to pursue my dream of a career in aviation.” This opportunity is a direct result of the dedication and leadership of the JROTC staff and school administration at R.B. Stall.
For more about this opportunity for student-cadets at R.B. Stall, contact Lt. Col. Lonnie Ford at (843) 764-2200.