Cadets take flight as part of Glider Academy held in Tullahoma

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- Twenty cadets from 12 different states participated in the week-long South East Region (SER) National Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Glider Academy from July 8-14 at the Tullahoma Municipal Airport.

The academy, hosted by the Beechcraft Heritage Museum, was supported by the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) Program, which provided volunteers and materials for the cadets.

In addition to the 20 CAP students, the academy included four Federal Aviation Administration rated glider instructors, four tow planes and four gliders.

“These young people had an experienced group of instructors and support staff to assist them in their goals of becoming young aviators,” Jere Matty, Arnold STEM Education Outreach Specialist, said. “It was a great week for all involved.”

Approximately 335 flights were conducted during the academy, and five cadets earned their Solo Wings. They were cadets 2nd Lt. Levi Eudy and Chief Master Sgt. Payton Mercer from the South Carolina Wing, 2nd Lt. Alan Arnesen from the Virginia Wing, Maj. Genesis Middlebos from the Idaho Wing, and 2nd Lt. Phillip Norton from the Illinois Wing.

Matty personally congratulated Middlebos, one of five cadets in his group, on her achievement.

“She was first to earn her Solo Wings at the academy this year,” he said.

Many other cadets earned their Pre-Solo Wings, showing that they can handle a glider without assistance but accompanied by an instructor per FAA or CAP regulations.

The SER National Glider Flight Academy thanks the Beechcraft Heritage Museum for the use of their facilities and Tullahoma Municipal Airport for their work in support of air and ground operations. The academy staff also stated its appreciation for Baymont Inn and Suites, Seminole-Lake Gliderport, Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce, Air Force STEM Program, D6 and Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen.