PSU Cadets to Teach Air Force a Thing or Two

This past year under the leadership of Colonel Steven Drago, the Penn State Detachment of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) developed a new way to teach Air Power doctrine and air superiority theory. Unlike the local Army ROTC detachment, future Air Force officers cannot practice some of the key skills they will need when they go active duty. The Army is able to train on infantry tactics and ground navigation. The Air Force… well, it turns out Penn State isn’t giving us planes to practice with any time soon. But nevertheless, the Penn State cadets felt it imperative to figure out ways to train on how to deploy and employ the full wrath of the US Air Force’s arsenal.

Enter the RED CELL vs BLUE CELL scenario. The cadets, taking instruction from the active duty cadre, developed a game of sorts where two teams plan attacks and defensive postures in real time against a foe. The attacks are judged on their feasibility and correct use of assets such as Air-to-Air and Bomber platforms.

Headquarters USAF took interest in what the cadets were doing here at Penn State and paid a visit last fall. They were so impressed that it was determined that these skills needed to be learned by all cadets that wished to become future Air Force officers.

The plan is to send a team of Penn State cadets to Joint Forces Training Facility Camp Shelby in Mississippi for the summer. They will instruct every cadet entering their junior year as they complete the officer equivalent of basic training.

The training kits that the cadets developed will then be instituted at every college where there is a USAF ROTC detachment around the country.

This latest development is just another prime example of why Penn State develops high-quality officers year in and year out.

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About the Author

Stefan Choquette

Stefan is currently a Junior Integrative Arts major with a background in Computer Science. Stefan is a veteran of the US Air Force and is currently enrolled in ROTC to return as an officer after graduation. Stefan is a founding brother of Phi Kappa Sigma and a licensed private pilot. Stefan formally served as our Editor of Photography, and now helps with staff photography.

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