UCF AFROTC cadets fly with the 91st ARS during AIM flight

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hiram Martinez
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Cadets with Air Force ROTC Detachment 159 at the University of Central Florida joined the 91st Air Refueling Squadron (ARS) on an air refueling mission as part of the Aviation Inspiration Mentorship (AIM) High program April 11, 2022.

The cadets flew inside a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and witnessed a B-52 Stratofortress bomber assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana being refueled first-hand.

“Experiencing the refueling of the B-52 and seeing the cadet’s eyes light up as they joined aircrew in the boom pod or the cockpit is something I’m sure will resonate with them for years to come,” said U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Margiealice Uffre-Gomez, gold bar recruiter for Air Force ROTC Detachment 159.

Uffre-Gomez added that exposing cadets to opportunities like the AIM flight is key to their development as future Air Force officers.

“ROTC cadets will become the Air Force’s newest leaders within the next few years,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Michael Bargiel, the 6th Air Refueling Wing AIM program director. “Many of them are undecided on their careers, nor do they know the full extent of opportunities available to them across the Air Force.”

The AIM program’s main goal is to promote diversity through inclusion with a focus on mentorship and to encourage and support the recruitment of diverse military professionals through local community outreach programs.

Through the 91st ARS engagement, many of the pilots and booms have become role models and examples for students and cadets alike.

 “The 91st Airmen have been instrumental in inspiring AIM participants to pursue careers in aviation,” Bargiel said. “Our AIM program has become the benchmark for future wings.”

The U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service Detachment 1 is in charge of the AIM outreach program and plans to use the 6th ARW’s program as the framework for all future AIM wings

Bargiel added that this year, the AIM wing at MacDill is looking to expand its reach and partner with more schools and youth organizations than last year.

“The sky is the limit with our program,” Bargiel said. “The future is bright and full of opportunities for both the AIM Wing and its participants.”