The cadets of the Forsyth County Civil Air Patrol were greeted by members of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds on Thursday, April 22, during an exclusive online video conference.
Three members of America’s Ambassadors in Blue spoke with local teens involved with the civilian branch of the Air Force. For one high ranking cadet, the live discussion increased her motivation for a career in the military.
“It was exciting to meet with members of the Thunderbirds, and be able to ask them questions,” Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Juli Vega said.
Civil Air Patrol cadets are made up of teens working hard to learn the disciplines of the Air Force. They each earn rank as they learn about all aspects of an aerospace career in the military.
The local Civil Air Patrol is an extension of the Air Force and has provided local communities with volunteer services dating back to before World War II. They offer aide to search and rescue aircrews, disaster relief, and also volunteer with humanitarian services.
The Thunderbirds began their 2021 air show season last weekend in central Florida. Their six F-16 Fighting Falcon jets perform precision maneuvers and high-speed passes before show guests.
Thunderbirds’ flight surgeon Lt. Col. (Dr.) Noel Colls lead the discussion from the air base near Las Vegas, Nevada. He described for the cadets his career with the military and with the team.
“I get to work with a great group of people and really learn a lot,” Lt. Col. Colls told the cadets. “In the military you will get to do things that you will never ever get to do in the civilian world.”
The medical doctor is also a prior military pilot having logged over 540 flight hours in 20 different aircraft. He has even logged over 310 combat hours during several tours of duty.