Cadets take to the air

Published 7:20 pm Saturday, February 25, 2012

Northside High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets received an opportunity of a lifetime.

Northside ROTC Cadet Amy Soto taking a view of the aircraft from the pilot’s vantage point. (BCS Photo)

Northside ROTC Cadet Brandon Batchler (right) watches from the boom operator’s workstation. (BCS Photo)

Recently, five cadets — Brandon Batchler, Darren Harris, Marsha Mayo, Dustin Taylor and Amy Soto — flew in a KC-135R Stratotanker at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base at Goldsboro.

For some of these cadets, this marked their first flight ever. Batchler not only got his feet off the ground, but he drew the lucky number to sit with the flight crew during takeoff.

The flight took them across Raleigh, Virginia and Atlanta before touching down at Goldsboro. Cadets were allowed to watch in-flight refueling from the vantage point of the boom operator’s workstation.

Cadets extended words of appreciation toward the crew of the 916th Air Refueling Wing for making their dreams become reality.

The peacetime mission of the 916th Air Refueling Wing is to develop and maintain the operational capacity of its subordinate units and train and equip more than 900 reservists and eight KC-135R aircraft for worldwide operational commitments. This would include air refueling, cargo/troop transport, emergency aeromedical evacuation and emergency war order and single integration operation plan support.