Military News

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Raptor pilots visit future generation

by Airman 1st Class Timothy Kim
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

9/14/2015 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- F-22 Raptor fighter pilots from the 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, visited Spangdahlem Middle School students Sept. 9 and gave a tour of their aircraft to Bitburg High School Junior ROTC cadets Sept. 10.

The pilots took time between training missions to inform the students about their careers to aid in school's program designed to introduce students to career fields involved with advanced sciences and technology. The 95th FS's F-22s arrived at Spangdahlem Aug. 28 to support the European Reassurance Initiative demonstrating the U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe.

"Our kids are faced today with things that we didn't have when we were kids," said Jacquelyn Koenig, a teacher at the middle school. "We need to expose them to the many opportunities and job career fields that are out there. Technology is growing at such a faster rate, we're preparing kids for a future that we know nothing about, currently. We want our kids to be the best adults they can be."

Students from the 5th through 8th grades attended the briefing seminar where the pilots taught the basic aerodynamics of the F-22 aircraft, the proper gears needed to fly the aircraft and the air-refueling process.

"It was awesome having an experience of pilots coming to talk to us," said Tanner Lewis, 7th grader and son of Jenatta and U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Aaron Lewis, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron first sergeant. "It seems like a really cool thing to do, just to be a part of that world."

Bitburg High School JROTC cadets attended the F-22 tour, witnessing the Raptor up-close in one of Spangdahlem's hardened aircraft shelters. The pilots, leading the tour, answered any questions they had before they headed back for their school.

"The students are our future," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael Sayers, a 95th FS fighter pilot. "It is really cool to interact with them, and it is important to get them out here and see the Air Force's technology firsthand."

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