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Air Force ROTC, partners helping ambitious high school cadets soar with aviation skills

Members of Jackson State University’s Air Force ROTC partnered with the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and Jackson Public Schools to introduce high school students to career opportunities in aviation and aerospace in the armed forces. (Photo courtesy of JSU Air Force ROTC)

Members of Jackson State University’s Air Force ROTC partnered with the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and Jackson Public Schools to introduce high school students to career opportunities in aviation and aerospace in the armed forces. (Photo courtesy of JSU Air Force ROTC)

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Jackson State University’s Air Force ROTC recently hosted 14 cadets from Jackson Public Schools and Hinds County to learn about future careers in aviation in the armed forces.

During the second annual event, Lt. Col Natosha L. Reed, chair of JSU’s Department of Aerospace Studies in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, said, “We discussed avenues to help cadets reach their goals. We also focused on leadership, team-building and followership skills. These are all essential to help them become better citizens whether in or out of uniforms.”

The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority (JMAA) Education and Training Academy is a joint partnership formed between the JMAA and its Board of Commissioners, Jackson Public Schools and JSU. The overarching objective is to introduce high school students to career opportunities in aviation and aerospace.

During the week, students received a behind-the-scenes tour of Hawkins Field, learned about the fundamentals of aviation, flight planning and gained one-hour flight simulator experience, which prepares pilots for best- and worst-case scenarios in a safe and cost-effective manner.  Also, students accomplished their first discovery flight with the Civil Air Patrol.

Reed said, “This was a first-time experience for most students since most have never flown an aircraft before.”

A recruiting table was also available during the week to discuss career opportunities in aviation and aerospace. Those in attendance were the Air National Guard, Coast Guard/Navy, Civil Air Patrol, Army and Air Force ROTC, Army National Guard and Army active and reserve recruiters.