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‘I-Day’ Update: Academy preps for arrival of class of 2024

I Day

Master Sgt. Marcus Coley (left), a military training instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, stands with a cadet at the school. The Academy is preparing for the June arrival of its next class of cadets. (U.S. Air Force photo/Trevor Cokley)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy’s superintendent announced May 7 that the school is preparing for the June arrival of its next class of cadets. 

“We’re establishing quarantine guidance, testing, and restriction of movement policies that mirror the guidelines and policies of the Defense Department and State of Colorado,” said Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the Academy’s superintendent.   

Brig. Gen. Michele Edmondson, commandant of cadets, said despite the coronavirus outbreak posing more than a few challenges to the school and U.S. military at large, the Academy’s military and academic training continues.

“We will bring in the class of 2024,” she said. “It will look different than what we’re used to but we can do this, and we can do this safely.”

Public health emergencies have been declared at every U.S. military installation, including the Academy. Late last month, Col. Brian Hartless, commander of the 10th Air Base Wing -- the Academy’s host unit -- extended the public health emergency on the base until May 23.

 Silveria said more details about the arrival of the new cadets would be announced later this month and in June.

“We’re in the planning stages but fully confident we can safely prepare for the arrival of our latest class while continuing to keep our community safe,” he said.

[Read our May 7 report about how base official are making a deliberate effort to reopen the Academy slowly and safely here: https://www.usafa.af.mil/News/News-Display/Article/2180182/update-air-force-academy-starts-slow-phased-reopening-during-covid-19-crisis]