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Future leaders come to Minot AFB

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Who are all these Airmen running around base with strange rank on their uniform?

They're a contingency of 11 cadets from the United States Air Force Academy and two Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from West Virginia and Wisconsin who arrived June 24 and depart Minot July 13.

The 13 cadets are participating in the summer program Operation Air Force, which gives cadets a taste of real Air Force life.

Cadets are sent to bases all over the world where they shadow both officers and enlisted Airmen while getting career advice and opinions on life in the operational Air Force.

Operation Air Force allows cadets to get out and experience what their life will be like post-graduation, when they're commissioned as second lieutenants.

The program gives cadets a chance to experience field work in the career of their choice.
"I absolutely love this program," said Cadet 2nd Class Brett Kuhrt, Air Force Academy junior. "It gives [cadets] a break from academy life and a chance to get out and see different parts of the country."

According to Cadet 2nd Class Claire Vazquez, Air Force Academy Junior, coming to Minot has been a pleasant surprise.

"At first I was apprehensive to come here," she said. "However, when we arrived I was pleasantly surprised with the beauty of the land and the friendliness of the locals."

Overall, cadets seem to appreciate the chance to participate in Operation Air Force.
"Operation Air Force is a fantastic program that has opened my eyes to real Air Force life," said Cadet 1st Class Barry Loggins, Air Force Academy senior. "I feel very fortunate to be given Minot Air Force Base as my assignment."
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