The Future of the Force embark on AIM HIGH flight

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Adam Olson
  • 28 Bomb Wing Public Affairs

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D., — Students of the Douglas High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) embarked on an AIM HIGH Inspiration flight on Ellsworth, April 19.

An AIM HIGH flight is a rare opportunity for high school students to fly in a military aircraft and feel first-hand what it’s like to be a part of the world’s greatest Air Force.

Stepping aboard these aircraft is an experience known only to a slight percentage of the population, and the JROTC students of Douglas High School sat in on not just a normal flight, but a full blown joint-base exercise.

Pilots from Ellsworth and MacDill Air Force Base conducted a mid-flight refueling exercise which these young students had front-row seating for. At certain points, students were no more than forty feet away from a B-1B Lancer in-flight as it drew fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker.

Through a base partnership with JROTC these high school students were able to tour the base and see how select members on Ellsworth conduct their operations and serve the American people.

“This event was truly a team effort between multiple organizations on Ellsworth and it could not have been done without them,” said 1st Lt. Gregory Baker, 28th Security Forces Squadron logistics officer.

Baker spearheaded planning for the visit and had the privilege to see the tour in action.

“Seeing the students excited at each demonstration during the event was truly inspiring and really helps put into perspective why we do what we do every day and the impact it can have on the community and our youth,” said Baker.

Shae Klein, a senior cadet with the Douglas High School spoke about her appreciation for the experience with the junior ROTC program.

“It’s just one of the best things I’ve ever been able to do throughout high school,” said Klein.

Lt. Baker has invited the JROTC students and instructors to visit the upcoming air show on base and has expressed a desire to have more students visit.