SUPT 22-11 graduation; just the beginning

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Blocher
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. – Twenty-one officers from Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 22-11 walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, June 17, 2022, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

U.S. Air Force Col. Seth Graham, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, joined the class to deliver a message about the new aviators’ transition to their next assignment.

Graham opened the ceremony by thanking guests and families for their support to the new aviators during the 52-week course.

“There is one thing our country needs the most to defend our interests and that is air power,” said Graham. “When I say ‘air power’ I am talking about you, you are air power.”

The class of 22-11 listened with the rest of their friends and families as Graham spoke about the challenges the aviators could face in their careers as pilots.

“Our Air Force exists for one reason, and that is to win our nation’s wars through the sky,” said Graham. “This is why it is vital that we train world class pilots, which I know that we do.”

Graham gave the graduates one last piece of advice for their careers.

“Your career is not completely in your hands,” said Graham. “You can look at that in a negative way and say, ‘things happen to me’ or you can look at it in a positive way and say, ‘opportunities occur in my life and in my career.’”

In the class of 22-11, some students stood out through academics, skill and leadership. These pilots were recognized and received awards based on their performance.

1st Lt. Frank Duvall and 1st Lt. Antoine Arnaud received the Air Education and Training Command Commander’s Trophy for being the most outstanding students overall in their classes.

Duvall and Arnaud also received recognition as the two distinguished graduates for outstanding performance in academics, officer qualities and flying abilities.

“This isn’t the end of anything, this is just the beginning of something,” said Graham. “Today you enter into an elite group of people, the group of combat aviators.”

The extensive training that these pilots go through establishes them as world class pilots and promotes the Columbus AFB mission.