Maj. Gen. John Shaw, Air Force Space Command deputy commander (front center), stands with Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets during the inaugural AFROTC space immersion program, June 4 at Headquarters AFSPC. The program teaches cadets about AFSPC’s space warfighting capabilities and provides opportunities for leadership development and mentorship. 

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Sixteen Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from across the nation embarked on a three-week journey for immersion in Air Force Space Command’s missions, capabilities and units June 2-21, 2019.

The inaugural program taught cadets about AFSPC’s space warfighting capabilities, as well as gave cadets the opportunity to interact with enlisted and officer space operators and senior leaders within the Air Force space community.

“I’m ecstatic over the ROTC immersion program’s kick off,” said Maj. Gen. John Shaw, AFSPC deputy commander. “This program is a great opportunity to educate cadets – who are still deciding on their Air Force path – on how important space capabilities are to our nation and the critical role of space in multi-domain and joint warfighting.”

The cadets selected to participate in the program visited Air Force bases throughout Colorado and California to include Peterson, Schriever, Buckley, Vandenberg and Los Angeles AFBs.

“It was quite interesting – the cadets were interested in a variety of different career fields at the beginning of the program,” said Jay Doherty, deputy director of Headquarters AFSPC Manpower, Personnel and Services Directorate, which developed and executed the immersion program. “After seeing firsthand what we’re doing, many of the cadets shifted their focus to a career in space.”

“The space summer internship program was an incredible opportunity to be fully immersed into the realm of space,” said Nathaniel Lyons, ROTC cadet and information systems major at the University of West Florida. “My fellow cadets and I had a great opportunity to truly see why the space domain is the future of our military, and I look forward to sharing my experience with cadets at my university.”

Cadets received mission briefs on several units within AFSPC, participated in mentoring sessions, and toured space launch complexes and operations floors.

What really impressed me was the vast breadth of this program,” said Erik Yamada, ROTC cadet and mathematics major at Virginia Tech. “We have been able to experience Air Force Space Command from many different angles…from junior enlisted to general officers. This has been insightful and inspiring, and I have learned so much about space, the Air Force, and what lies ahead for us.”

The next iteration of the immersion program is planned for July 8-26, 2019. An additional 16 ROTC cadets will travel to the Front Range Air Force bases in addition to Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.



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