Real-World Exposure

Earlier this month, 20 US Air Force Academy cadets deployed to Southwest Asia to spend time with the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing. This time in the war theater is part of the annual program called Operation Air Force that places cadets at operational Air Force bases worldwide for career shadowing, mentoring, and familiarization. The goal, said Capt. Sean Lovell, 386th AEW antiterrorism officer, is meant to broaden the cadets’ knowledge of the Air Force and make them more well-rounded officers. The cadets had to prepare and train for the deployment just as any active duty airmen would, Lovell said. Cadet 1st Class Selena Rodts, one of the OAF participants, said the deployment will be invaluable since her instructors do their best to explain what to expect on a deployment, “but you never really know until you experience it for yourself.” (386th AEW report by Capt. Angelic Dolan)