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U.S. Air Force Academy supporters Bonnie Bonnin (left), her granddaughter Kayla (middle), and daughter Kim Williams, were featured on a 2014 Falcons basketball season billboard on Interstate 25 near Monument, Colorado. Carey Bonnin (not seen), his wife Bonnie, and Kim are Academy employees who have supported the school for decades as Falcons fans and cadet sponsors. (Courtesy photo)   A ‘Falcon Proud’ family
Three Air Force Academy employees say supporting cadets isn’t just their job, it’s their way of life.  Carey Bonnin, wife Bonnie Bonnin, and their daughter, Kim Williams, spend their work time supporting the Academy’s mission of developing leaders of character, and their time-off supporting cadets and showing their Falcon pride.   “We live it,
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Freshmen cadets hold up a heavy log during Recognition, March 10, 2017, at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado. Recognition is a rigorous annual event freshmen or "four degrees" must overcome before earning the status of "recognized cadet." (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Gutierrez)   Conquering Recognition: ‘4 degrees’ overcome annual challenge
Freshmen earned the title of “recognized cadet” March 11 after completing two days of intense challenges here known as Recognition. Recognition is a rigorous annual event freshman, or “four degrees” here, must navigate before earning the status of cadet and the "prop and wings" pin worn on their uniform cap.The challenge began March 9 with hundreds
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Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro Jr., makes his 131st parachute jump over the U.S. Air Force Academy, Feb. 18, 2017. Del Tori, a former Tactical Air Control Party Airman, is the Air Force's only 100-percent disabled wounded warrior on active duty. He made the jump with cadets and staff at the 98th Flying Training Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo)
	Wounded Warrior ‘DT’ returns to the skies, parachutes into new job
An Air Force wounded warrior returned to the skies Feb. 18 with his first parachute jump in 11 years. Master Sgt.  Israel Del Toro Jr., the Air Force’s only 100-percent-disabled wounded warrior on active duty, added to his list of achievements by taking his 131st parachute jump with cadets and staff at the 98th Flying Training Squadron. Del Toro,
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Staff Sgt. David Moore of the 306th Operations Support Squadron pulled a woman out of Kettle Lakes, Jan. 23, 2017,  after she had fallen through the ice covering the lake. The 306th OSS is at the U.S. Air Force Academy. (U.S. Air Force photo/Darcie Ibidapo)

On thin ice: Academy NCO pulls woman from Kettle Lakes
A young woman has a lot to be thankful for after an airfield manager here yanked her and her dog out of the frigid waters of Kettle Lakes, Jan. 23.  Staff Sgt. David Moore of the 306th Operations Support Squadron was checking for safety hazards around the airfield just after 7 a.m. when he spotted the woman and dog in the water. “She was fully
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Brig. Gen. Andrew Armacost, the dean of the faculty, speaks from the stage of Polaris Hall Jan. 26, 2017, at the 21st Annual Air Force Academy Research Awards ceremony.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Gutierrez) Awards ceremony recognizes revolutionary research of cadets, faculty
Analyzing Nigerian refugee camps to create long-term sustainable solutions, and timely famine response while working in Silicon Valley, was one of three projects earning Cadet 1st Class Saylor Gilbert the top cadet summer research program award, Jan. 26. Gilbert’s work was among cadet and faculty research projects recognized Jan. 26 at the 21st
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Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy submitted their research Jan. 24 for the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage -- or RASC-AL -- a National Institute of Aerospace competition supporting NASA’s goal of expanding humanity’s reach into space. (Courtesy graphic) Update: Cadets selected to compete in round 2 of NASA space-habitat design competition
National Institute of Aerospace officials invited cadets to compete in the next round of the RASC-AL Space Habitat Competition's in March. If the team makes it through the next cut, they'll compete in the competition's final round, May 31-June 2 in Florida. The cadets are designing a habitat module to use in low-Earth orbit after the International
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Airman 1st Class Giovanni Fiorella of the 10th Security Forces Squadron stands between brothers Dionisio Fiorella (right), a California Highway Patrol officer, and Micheal Fiorella (left), a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officer. Giovanni, 22, is assigned to the 10th SFS's Elite Sentry Program at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He hopes his security force experience will help him become a civil police officer. (Courtesy photo) 10th SFS Airman gets $Million view, life experience at USAFA
How does an airman first class get an office bigger than the superintendent’s?  Earn a spot as an Elite Sentry with the 10th Security Forces Squadron, like Giovanni Fiorella.  Fiorella considers the 18,500-acre base, with its sweeping view of the Front Range Mountains, to be his office. “I get a $Million-dollar view every day,” he said. “There are
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Cadet 2nd Class Tori Gilster and retired Lt. Col. Richard Trail, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, pose for a photo last fall in the 94th Flying Training Squadron offices. Trail was the first cadet to make a successful solo flight in a glider. He and retired Lt. Col. James Leland visited the Academy to meet cadets and staff and discuss the advances made in the wake of the Air Force's only Soaring Program. Leland helped design the Soaring Program in the 1960s.'(Courtesy photo)  Soaring Program pioneers stage fall visit to Academy
 Two soaring program pioneers took a stroll through history with cadets and staff this fall at the 94th Flying Training Squadron, home to the Air Force’s only Soaring Program.Retired Lt. Col James Leland helped create the soaring program and retired Lt. Col. Richard Trail, a 1959 Academy graduate, was the first cadet to take a solo flight in a
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Retired Navy Lt. Jim Downing shares his story of military service and surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor with U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School cadet candidates, Jan. 6, 2016, at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Downing, 103, is the second oldest known survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Gutierrez) Service and survival: Pearl Harbor vet visits Prep School Jan 6
Retired Navy Lt. Jim Downing is many things: World War II and Korean War veteran and, at 103, the second oldest known survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Colorado Springs resident shared his story of military service with scores of Air Force Academy Preparatory School students here Jan. 6. “The first Japanese plane I saw was flying straight
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An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and F-16 Fighting Falcon return from an Operation Iraqi Freedom combat mission. Both aircraft provide intelligence, search and reconnaissance gathering features, as well as munitions capability to support ground troops and base defense. (U.S. Air Force photo/Shannon Collins) The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: MQ-1B Predator
Manufacturer: General AtomicsFunction: Armed Reconnaissance, Airborne Surveillance and Target AcquisitionService Date: 1996Speed: Up to 135 mphCrew (GCS): TwoProduction: 186 Inventory: 126Commentary: An operational Predator system includes four air vehicles, a ground control station (GCS), satellite link, and 55 personnel for 24-hour operations.
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