Class 22-10 achieves aeronautical rating

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – Twenty-two student pilots graduated from Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, achieving the aeronautical rating of Pilot, May 26, 2022, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. John Nichols, Global Power Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, director, the Pentagon, Arlington, VA., provided remarks as the guest speaker.

As a previous commander at the 14th Flying Training and a pilot himself, Nichols mentioned multiple times how honored and proud he was to come back and deliver the graduation speech to the new pilots.

“It is not only important to recognize what got you here today, but also to think about what you are going to do for the United States Air Force in the coming years,” said Nichols. “UPT graduation is the first part of your journey. It is the start of your flying career.”

Over the span of the 52-week training program, each student completed nearly 200 flying hours in the T-6A Texan II and T-1A Jayhawk or T-38C Talon.

“Be a leader to everyone because it is the strength of the entire team that ultimately defines success,” said Nichols. “Lead by setting the example for others to follow, both on and off duty.”

Class 22-10 recognized three distinguished graduates, 1st Lt. Kelly Grier, 1st Lt. Brick McArdle and 1st Lt. Garrett O’Shea, for their outstanding performance in academics, officer qualities and flying abilities.

“To the men and women in class 22-10, go out and lead in our Air Force with passion,” said Nichols. “Be ready when the call comes, because that call will come someday.”

Class 22-10 will depart from Columbus AFB and continue pilots training in their respective aircrafts, four of which will return as First Assignment Instructor Pilots.

“On behalf of me and my wife, we are very proud of you on this graduation day,” said Nichols. “We understand what it took to get here and we are proud of what your future looks like.”