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AETC civic leaders visit Academy

  • Published
  • By Harry Lundy
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
The Air Force's Academy played host to 18 Air Education and Training Command civic leaders, giving the group a close-up look at how the Academy develops leaders, Oct. 15-16.

Gen. Robin Rand, AETC commander and Class of '79 Academy grad, led the visit, which included a meeting with Academy leaders and Colorado Springs' city officials, a mission brief by Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, and a tour of academic facilities and the 306th Flying Training Group.

During her mission brief, General Johnson fielded questions from the civic leaders on topics ranging from the Academy's attrition rate, its essence and sexual assault. She said during the brief she wanted to make the Academy a popular option for prospective cadets.

"Most people are familiar with West Point and Annapolis east of the Mississippi," General Johnson told the civic leaders. "We want to be a part of the normal high school college discussion so those students realize the opportunities that are here."

Larry Mariner, representing Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, said he appreciated General Johnson's transparency.

"General Johnson really impressed me," he said. "You have a superintendent who is sensitive to the issue of sexual assault; that is good for everyone. Her willingness to keep the conversation going is a prime example of being open."

After the mission brief, the group toured the Chemistry Department's labs to learn about Academy research and how science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, studies positively affect a cadets' liberal arts education.

At the 306th FTG, the civic leaders received a mission brief focused on the Academy's Airmanship Program from Col. Stephen Burgh, 306th FTG commander, and Lt. Col. Anthony Mincer, 98th Flying Training Squadron commander.

"I cannot believe what I experienced today; speaking with the superintendent, commandant and cadet leaders," Mariner said. "This was high level stuff. It was truly a privilege."