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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

CNAL attends “SUPER-16” JROTC Flight Academy Graduation at ECSU

by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bonnie Lindsay
29 July 2022 Rear Adm. John F. Meier, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (CNAL), attended the graduation of Junior ROTC Flight Academy cadets at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), Elizabeth City, North Carolina, July 28.
Group photo
SLIDESHOW | 2 images | CNAL Attends JROTC Flight Academy Graduation 220728-N-RQ186-1064 ELIZABETH CITY, Nc. (July 28, 2022) Rear Admiral John F. Meier, center, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, poses for a photo with the “SUPER-16” Junior ROTC Flight Academy graduates at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). The Junior ROTC cadets gain experience in aviation during the intensive eight-week Flight Academy with scholarships granted from their respective armed forces branch. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Bonnie Lindsay)

The cadets, dubbed the “SUPER-16”, graduated from an intensive eight-week Flight Academy while earning college credits and gaining experience in aviation.

“You just spent the last couple of months here learning how to fly which is pretty magical,” Meier said. “The beautiful aspect of it is that passion for flying. That sense of if you love your job that you’ll never work a day in your life- that’s truly what aviation is. You’ve gotten a little taste of that.”

ECSU is one of 17 universities that provides this type of aviation training to Junior ROTC cadets.

“This scholarship program represents a collaboration between the Air Force and Navy, aerospace industry, and partnering universities to help address a national pilot shortage and diversify the aviation workforce,” said Karrie G. Dixon, Chancellor of ECSU. “We are very proud of our unique aviation program, and now have another group of ambassadors to help us tell the story.”

The “SUPER-16” have passed the Federal Aviation Administration written exam, and two students received their FAA private pilot license. The scholarships covering the program costs for the cadets are granted from their respective armed forces branch with no mandatory service obligation, but some cadets hope to pursue aviation through careers in the military.

“To see the bright eyes in the young men and women [that are] presumably some of the future folks at the flight academy is pretty exciting,” Meier said. “The future of naval aviation is bright.”

CNAL is responsible for seven nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, 54 aircraft squadrons, 1,200 aircraft and 43,000 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel with priorities focused on warfighting, people, and readiness by providing combat ready, sustainable naval air forces with the right personnel, properly trained and equipped, with a focus on readiness, operational excellence, interoperability, safety, and efficient resourcing.
 
 
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