by Senior Airman David Bernal Del Agua
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
6/17/2015 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- U.S.
Air Force Academy cadets and ROTC cadets visited from June 3 through
June 17 as part of Operation Air Force, a summer program initiative.
"These cadets are making choices right now that may affect their lives
forever," said Maj. Timothy Morris, 22nd Logistics Readiness Squadron
operations officer and director of the Operation Air Force program at
McConnell. "Most will make a commitment to become pilots and that is a
decision that should not be taken lightly."
The two-week long program is an Air Force-wide enterprise which aims to
give the cadets a clearer picture of what Air Force life is like.
"It is a professional development opportunity and career building for
all of us," said Mike Pufunt, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
cadet. "This gives us an idea of what we want to do and also see how the
real Air Force operates."
While the academy has always had the chance to do the OAF program, it is something new to these ROTC cadets.
"This is the first year it's been brought back for ROTC," said Pufunt.
"The Academy does it every year as a requirement and it's basically job
"I've enjoyed this trip because we stepped out of the training
environment and experience the real Air Force," said Shelby Curry,
Illinois Institute of Technology cadet. "It's also been a great morale
booster for all of us. None of us knew each other before we came, so
this made us come out of our comfort zones and it's been amazing to meet
all these people and take up all this opportunities while we still
McConnell will be hosting more cadets during the next following weeks as
part of the on-going summer program trying to give cadets a new take on
"We are shaping the next generation of leaders at a crucial point in
their life that may determine their next 10 years," said Morris. "It is
essential that train them and show them all aspect of Air Force life so
they can be part of the bright future of our Air Force."