Air Force experience for high school students - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Air Force experience for high school students

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September 17, 2002

Lee County -- The United States Air Force is looking for students interested in science and medicine. And they're offering recruits a first hand experience in Air Force life. Students from Lee County High School fly F-16's, on missions to destroy an enemy bridge and two oil derricks.

They were "flying" virtual flight simulators are part of the traveling Air Force experience. After a short mission briefing, the students take off. It's much tougher than a regular video game. The control sticks exactly like the ones Air Force pilots use in their simulators.

Junior Annie McDearis said "It was harder than I thought it would be." Do you think you are cut out for the Air Force yet? "Not yet." Staff Sgt. Jason Caldwell said "It's a lot more challenging than you think. It's really real to life, not like a video game at the Mall. They have the throttles and everything. It's a challenge when they get out there and see how hard it is."

The Air Force is stepping up recruiting with this high tech presentation, trying to interest top high school science and math students. It's working in South Georgia.

 Staff Sgt. Caldwell said "Recruiting is excellent. Last year for a 12 month period from September to September we recruited 43 out of Albany. this year we've done 71, so almost double."

The Air Force Experience will visit Monroe High, Dougherty High, and Terrell County Mid-High this week to give students a chance to virtually fly.

Junior Renina Westbrook said "It was interesting, a really new experience.

Nearly 400 Lee County High Juniors and Seniors got a chance to tour the Air Force Experience today. Recruiters wanted to pitch the R.O.T.C. , Physics, and Chemistry students.

posted at 12:50 PM by jimw@walb.com