By Cpt. Jon Gaede
The March Airfest returned to the Inland Empire to showcase the very best in Air Force aviation. Several hundred thousand took advantage of the weekend to gaze upward and admire the speed, agility and aerial beauty of the aircraft that have served the nation well.
A variety of aircraft from vintage to the modern era soared above the Moreno Valley skies. Among the featured WWII planes were the P-38 Lightening, the B-17 Flying-Fortress, The B-24 Liberator and the P-51 Mustang. The Mustang, built in 1940 was designed as a long range fighter/escort and were flown by the renowned Tuskegee Airmen, the highly accomplished African American pilots of WWII.
The cadets of San Bernardino City Unified School Districts Leadership Skills Academy (LSA) were treated to a special visit with the pilots of the world famous F-16 Thunderbird demonstration squadron. During media day the cadets were able to meet, ask a few questions and have their picture taken with the aviators who fly at 1,345 mph.
The Leadership Skills Academy (LSA) is a dynamic program directed by Narciso Cardona, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. Students identified as at risk who also exhibit strong leadership qualities were chosen for the program. The initial military phase of the program was developed by Major Jornal Miller who managed the (five-week) training phase at Camp San Luis Obispo. Upon return, the cadets entered the academic recovery phase which is managed by Commandant Cpt. Joseph Alo and academic instructor John Wingo.
The objectives of the academy are to improve academic skills, enhance the desire for self improvement, develop leadership traits and reinforce personal responsibility. These cadets are quite impressive. They have their own chain of command as each individual cadet contributes to the benefit of the group. Individual responsibility, initiative and team building have become habit for this outstanding group of young men.
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