The Reality of Field Training

By Isa LoPiccolo-Kleine
Special to Horizons

Field Training is an experience like no other. In order to be selected, you must choose to be a part of the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

By doing this, you elect to be a part of something greater than yourself.

You choose to strive to become better than who you were yesterday and who you are today.

You strive for excellence. That is why Field Training is like no other experience – you choose to go through something arduous and taxing.

You can leave at any time and end the ordeal, but in doing so, you lose your chance at becoming an Air Force Officer.

There are many different experiences at Field Training, including always being tired and hungry, the thrill of excitement when you learn something new, and the joy of accomplishment when you complete a mission.

The memories I treasure most are the moments my flight or squadron caught up and got to hear how everyone was doing.

Yes, Field Training is rough, but you have people to help you while you’re there.

“Field Training was challenging, because it was designed to be that way. Imagine having mere seconds to shower, change, and run outside, followed by long days out in the Alabama sun learning valuable skills from Air Force personnel that culminate into vivid scenarios and operations that test your leadership to [its] core. Despite the intensity, I departed with fond memories of my fellow cadets, hilarious stories, and a deeper understanding of how one may never realize their full potential until they give 100 percent,” said Peter Hoffend.

A cadet can be evaluated in many ways and through many different activities, including their ability to march a flight from place to place, or attempts to keep their people from getting hit with paintballs.

There are countless occasions in which the training staff are able to evaluate the cadets, but the one thing these trainers need is more time.

Due to the sheer number of cadets in each flight, the overall consensus from those who participated in Field Training was that the amount of time allotted to them to perform up to their usual standard just wasn’t enough. 

“I honestly think [Field Training] should be longer. I didn’t feel like everyone got a fair evaluation, but it is a quick way to learn to become a team and work together,” said Katherine Mosley.  

In Field Training, a special bond forms between each cadet and their flight mates. It helps pull you along through rough patches not only while you’re there, but also once you leave.

The aim of Field Training is to evaluate a cadet’s discipline and leadership abilities while simultaneously helping them grow.

If Air Force ROTC and Field Training sounds like a challenge that you’d like to take on, please visit us in Building 79, or contact Captain Kelsey Smith at [].  


Internship Experience: Fixing the Pilot Shortage at the Highest Level

By James Ritchey

This past summer, I had the opportunity to live and work in Washington, D.C. through an internship program offered by Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings.

I, along with a few other Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp (AFROTC) cadets from around the nation, had the opportunity to work at and immerse myself in the Pentagon, working with a variety of different departments within Headquarters Air Force.

Despite being a Global Security and Intelligence Studies major, with interests in foreign and operational policy, I was placed in the Aircrew Crisis Task Force (ACTF), a special organization created to tackle one of the largest hurdles facing the current Department of Defense: the shortage of pilots and other aircrew members, especially at higher levels.

The ACTF is a special “matrixed” organization under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (HAF/A3). Because of the complexity (and hopefully temporary status) of the problem, officers from around the Pentagon worked together to develop an actionable, lasting plan to ensure the Air Force maintains proper personnel levels for the coming decades.

I worked with officers from A5/8, the department for Strategic Plans and Requirements, A1, the department for Personnel, A3T, the department for training and readiness, and many others from a variety of backgrounds and skills. My office was headed by a one-star general, and consisted mostly of officers who had been in the Air Force for over 15 years. As a cadet who has not even been in the active Air Force yet, it was somewhat daunting to be around such high-level officers on a daily basis. However, I was welcomed with open arms, and quickly assigned tasks to complete.

While I at first did not have much interest in the subject or any skill in operational research, I was quickly on-boarded and put to work in developing budget proposals, contract requirements, and idea solicitation. On many occasions, I was able to participate in meetings regarding potential future programs for developing pilots, many of which would involve AFROTC detachments and aviation schools such as Riddle and the University of North Dakota. Despite my lack of experience in the operational Air Force, I was productive within the ACTF and actively helped develop solutions for the near and distant future.  

Along with working on solutions for the aircrew crisis, I also had the opportunity to branch out into some other areas of the Department of Defense. I had the opportunity to go to the State Department and sit in on negotiations for foreign weapon sales of American aircraft, as well as take flights in F-16D and KC-135 aircraft at nearby Joint Base Andrews. The USAF’s Light Attack (OA-X) experiment was a critical matter as well, and I had the opportunity to work on budgeting and congressional proposals for the acquisition and stand-up of its potential future fighter squadrons and Formal Training Units.  

The Pentagon itself is a massive building, featuring a multitude of shops, food courts, and people incredibly important to national security. I had the opportunity to meet several of these people, including USAF Chief of Staff General David Goldfein, Vice Chief of Staff General Stephen Wilson, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Lieutenant General Mark Nowland. It is rare to see anyone below the rank of Major (O-4) in the building at all, and even rarer to see anyone below Captain (O-3). As a cadet in that world, the experience and connections I made were unparalleled. 

AFROTC/ROTC Diversions Featured Features News

Heller 1/72 De Havilland Vampire FB.5 Model Kit

By Noa Brown

Although a rather old kit, the Heller De Havilland Vampire FB.5 is still a fun, quick build. The airplane recreated in this kit was the second jet fighter manufactured in Great Britain in the 1940’s.

The Vampire was then exported to many different countries including France and Sweden.

Despite its age, the parts were very well molded and didn’t show much flash. The interior detail was very basic and was painted with flat black and given a chipped effect using a silver pencil.

To make the model a little more interesting, a pilot figure from an Airfix kit was placed in the cockpit. The figure was painted with a silver helmet and a green flight suit.

The assembly of the airplane exterior was rather simple. The fuselage came in two halves that were glued together.

Before gluing the halves together, birdshot pellets were placed inside the nose to move the model’s center of gravity forward.

The wings fit snugly into the fuselage, and the two tail booms were separate parts that were attached both to the trailing edges of the wings and to the horizontal stabilizer.

Following assembly, a putty was needed to smooth out any gaps between the parts. The canopy was then masked using Tamiya masking tape and an Exacto knife before being placed on the airplane. 

Attaching the landing gear was rather difficult compared to the rest of the build. There were no clear attachment points for the gear doors and the gear legs were difficult to line up properly. To make matters worse, the pellets in the nose were not enough to get the model to rest on its nose wheel. 

With all parts of the airplane in place, the model was pre-shaded with flat black paint on its panel lines. The base coat used was Alclad aluminum paint and had an amazing metallic finish to it. However, in the areas where putty was used, there was a major change in the paint’s texture despite having sanded the putty extensively beforehand. 

The decals used on the model were for the French air force. They were from a set that came out of the box.

Despite the backing sheet having turned yellow, the decals held together perfectly well and were not discolored in any way.  They were placed on the model using micro-setting and micro-solvent solutions.

To conclude, this kit was an enjoyable build. Construction was very simple with only small amounts of work going into detail or assembly. This kit would be good for a beginner or for anyone wanting a fast simple weekend build! 

Diversions Featured Features Student Interest

Video Game Preview: Call of Duty “Black Ops 4”

Breathing New Life into an Old Franchise 

By Sean Hernandez

The next installment in the Call of Duty (COD) franchise is less than a month away from release. The biggest concern I imagine most players have, including myself, is the ever-growing problem with franchise fatigue. After all the trailers are released, weary fans of the franchise find themselves asking the same question every year: is it worth buying the next one? 

    Game developer Treyarch is back again with “Black Ops 4,” the next attempt to keep the aging franchise fresh and fun. This year Treyarch decided to entirely ditch the solo campaign and focus only on multiplayer gameplay. The standard multiplayer game mode returns along with three brand new bizarre stories to tell in Zombies mode. 

The multiplayer beta took place back in August, but there is a lot to take away from the time spent playing. “Black Ops 4” continues with “boots on the ground” gameplay, staying far away from jump packs and wall running. The gameplay still feels very fast-paced but doesn’t suffer from the arcade playstyle of “Black Ops 3.” 

Some aspects resemble more refined combat roles and abilities from “Black Ops 3.” “Black Ops 4” takes direction from games such as “Overwatch” and “Rainbow Six Siege” and has upgraded from soldier classes to the use of specialists.

Each one is equipped with a loadout specially built with a specific purpose and play style in mind, whether it is a tank, defense or healer. The Pick 10, Create-a-Class-System returns along with a new gear category for customizing a specialist.

Treyarch has ditched regenerating health as well, adding a health stim to the soldier’s kit that can be used repeatedly to regain hp.

This makes for a lot more tactical gameplay since players now have a choice to heal up rather than just running in and getting shot. Additionally, fog of war has been implemented into the minimap on the player’s hud, with enemies only being revealed by being in the line of sight, firing their weapons, or through scorestreaks and specialist abilities. There are still some problems with certain specialists kits and gear that need to be balanced.

Call of Duty has also joined the Battle Royale Bandwagon with their own unique take on the genre known as Blackout.

After spending a few hours playing the Blackout beta, I can say that despite my doubts and resistance to the battle royale trend that this was a pleasant surprise that I never saw coming.

Blackout aims to be a cumulative experience filled with iconic settings, characters, weapons, and gadgets that span across the Black Ops worlds.

Eighty-player skirmishes can be played in either solo, duos, or quad teams. It’s a mix of your typical battle royale-style gameplay and the fast-paced combat COD has become famous for.

Vehicles added into the mix make traversing the map both an enjoyable and challenging experience. Anyone who plays “Player Unkown’s Battlegrounds” or “Fortnite” will likely enjoy the battle royale experience that COD has to offer.

Every year I worry that I’m wasting my money on the next Call of Duty. I fear that within a few weeks the franchise fatigue will kick in, even though there’s a lot of improvement and innovation in Black Ops 4.

To my surprise, there’s a lot to be excited about for anyone still on the fence about the next Black Ops.

Entertainment Reviews Student Interest

Arnold Air Society runs for 24 hours to honor lives lost on 9/11

By Vee Glessner
Copy Editor

Beginning at midnight on Sept. 10 and ending at midnight on Sept. 11, Arnold Air Society (AAS) members ran the American and Prisoners of War/Missing in Action flags around the perimeter of campus for 24 hours straight. This event honors those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“The event was meant to commemorate and honor those brave people who sacrificed their lives in the 9/11 attack,” according to Sarah Borjeilly, sophomore and financial management officer of the squadron. “To us as cadets and members of the Steven M. Scherp squadron, this event allowed us to take a moment of our time to remember and think about those lives. The attack on the World Trade Center changed this country forever, and it should never be forgotten.”  

Almost 3,000 people were killed by the four attacks between 19 militants on the tragic day. Extremists associated with al-Qaeda hijacked four planes, two of which infamously impacted the New York Twin Towers. The third targeted the Washington, D.C. Pentagon and the last landed in a field in Pennsylvania. 

The squadron signed up its members and anyone else who wanted to run in 30-minute increments. Over the course of 24 hours over 60 people ran. 

Even those who are not in AAS ran to memorialize the tragedy. “It is not a role, but an honor to run for those who fell today, 17 years ago, an honor that no one should take for granted or complain about. Running with a sprained ankle may have hurt, but I just remind myself it probably would hurt a hell of a lot more to lose life, family, and faith,” said Niki Powell, who volunteered to run. 

This isn’t the only time AAS honors the fallen. They make it a point to take time on a regular basis to memorialize those who came before them. “The Steven M. Scherp Squadron implements commemorating those who have lost their lives in the line of duty into our weekly trainings to pay our respects,” said Borjeilly. 

Across the board, those who have joined AAS have had overwhelmingly positive experiences. “Arnold Air society uses an intensive, structured training environment to cement leadership skills and a sense of family among each class it trains. True, some have called it a ‘cult’, but this is a shallow view that does not delve deeper into the meaning of the trainings,” said Isa LoPiccolo-Kleine, addressing a commonly held viewpoint across campus. 

Because the candidate introduction is an 11-week intensive program that often involves training at night, in harsh weather, and at high volumes, many outside the organization feel that AAS is extreme, while those inside feel it pushed them to their limits physically and mentally. More than that, each class of trainees feels like a family. 

LoPiccolo-Kleine continues, “As an incoming freshman into college I wanted to find a place where I could fit in and have friends. To do this I joined Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. I joined Arnold Air Society because I wanted to find a family that I could depend on. While going through candidate training I found some of my best friends, people who I would do anything for, and people I could depend on.”  

Pictures here: 

AFROTC/ROTC Featured Features Local News News Student Interest

Air Force ROTC Honor Corps Sweeps SCIDM

By Jesse Roberts
Special to Horizons

The Air Force ROTC Detachment 028 Honor Corps returned from the Southern California Invitational Drill Meet (SCIDM) victorious again this year, the win reflecting their long hours of practice.

The Honor Corps typically practices multiple hours each day, most days per week, training to become the best at drill, rifle, and saber displays of professionalism.

The Corps came home with 1st place trophies in the Drill, Rifle, and Overall categories of the competition.

Honor Corps Commander Cadet Roberto Amaya believes their hard work has all been worthwhile in preparing for the competition:

“Cadet [Jillian] Green and I are extremely proud of this group of extraordinary individuals! They put in a lot of hard work and hours preparing for SCIDM and we can definitely say that it all paid off. We’d like to thank our AFROTC cadre who took time out of their schedules to come out during practices and accompany us to SCIDM, we can’t thank you enough! Cadet Green and I look forward to more accomplishments and achievements these cadets will bring to the Honor Corps, the detachment, ERAU, and the U.S. Air Force!” he said.

Congratulations to the Det 028 Honor Corps; your hard work and professionalism has paid off!


Out and About: Thumb Butte Hiking 

By Oliver Davis
Social Media Coordinator  

Prescott is a great place to get out and explore the outdoors. Some of the most beautiful places are just a couple minutes from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, yet students seldom find the time to go out and see nature instead of the inside of their textbooks.  

There are plenty of noticeable landmarks that one can see from campus, like Granite Mountain or the Granite Dells right across the street, but there is one more shape in the skyline that is the most unique. Thumb Butte stands tall to the south of campus, and its peculiar shape makes it even more distinct.  

The most common thing to do in the Thumb Butte area is to hike up to the top of the mini-mountain and take in its breathtaking views. There are, however, many other hikes that one can do in the same area besides the short yet steep hike to the top. 

Thumb Butte sits in the Prescott National Forest which is home to hundreds of miles of trails available for use. Many of these trails begin only several minutes away from the Thumb Butte parking lot. The variety of trails allows hikers to choose between a short in-and-out hike that can last less than an hour, or an all-day adventure that could leave you over a thousand feet above Prescott with amazing views of the surrounding Bradshaw Mountains.  

The trails are also available for mountain biking and horse riding, so there are plenty of different ways to explore the forest! 

One particular spot offers what is arguably the best view in Prescott. One can hike up to it, but it is much easier to drive up a long dirt road which goes to what is referred to as the Sierra Prieta lookout. Follow Thumb Butte road past the parking lot for approximately three miles along an extremely bumpy road until coming across views that go for miles beyond Prescott. There is nothing better than witnessing the sunset from this point where almost nothing could distract from its beauty.  

Whether it’s going for a short hike or to see miles of mountains in the distance, a day in the Thumb Butte area is unbeatable. 

Featured Features Final Approach Student Interest

Short Stories: From the Ashes

By: Brandon Dudley
Online Editor 

Ash, screams, and mechanical grinding filled sulfur infused air around Noldane as he dropped to his knees in defeat. Before him, down the slope of the hill, lay the husked ruins of the once grand capital of Menzysii. His kingdom and its people were now nothing more than scattered refugees driven out by a foe they could not even reason with.

Each breath came in ragged gasps as the High Justicar tried to process all that had happened. The strike had been so swift and unexpected; a devastating blow that crippled the nation’s beating heart.

Flying high above the ruins of Menzysii floated the mechanical city of Koropolis, a phenomenal wonder of engineering and magic. Between all the golden piping and sleek steel structures was a plethora of large scale inventions that the city’s owner, an inventor named Kor, had practically slapped onto the super structure randomly.

Without even realizing it Noldane had balled his gauntleted hands into tight fists, feeling the magic within the reinforced armor straining again his grip. Behind him gathered the remains of those who had managed to escape the besieged city; men, women, and children sprinkled amongst city guards whose eyes spoke the many horrors they had witnessed.

“We cannot let this go unpunished,” Noldane managed to growl out between clenched teeth, a bestial animal waiting to be unleashed. He felt a rage boiling up inside that had been previously quenched by the adrenaline of the moment.

Feeling a hand grasp his right shoulder, Noldane turned to see a man in the golden-white armor of a city guard. His helmet was held to his side revealing the face of a middle aged man older than Noldane, a scar across his right cheek. The symbol on his chest plate designated him as a sergeant.

“Sir” the sergeant started, gesturing at the crowd behind him, “we need to get the people out of here and away from the city”.

A snarl escaped from Noldane. “Sergeant,” he said, “we need to find a way onto Koropolis itself and take Kor out! If he is allowed to-“

The man cut Noldane off, rather brash for someone he outranked. “With all due respect, these people need to get to safety sir. If there is a follow up attack, we are all as good as dead!”  

Meeting the man eye to eye, Noldane met a stalwart stance that would not give way to even the most violent storm.  

The blinding fury that had consumed Noldane faded back to its normal calm and collected manner; the determined look in the sergeant’s eyes having melted away the anger.  

With a start Noldane looked toward the terrified expressions of the gathered Menzysiians and felt his heart sink. They were looking to him to lead them out of this and he had almost lead them all to a certain death. 

Taking a deep breath to calm himself Noldane spoke. “You are right sergeant. I was…” he trailed off in search of the proper words. “I was lost in my own grief. But we all have cause for grief on this day.”  

Standing, Noldane placed a hand upon the older man’s and looked him in the eyes to somewhere deeper.  

“Thank you. What is your name sergeant?”

“My name is Bran, sir,” came the reply. 

“Bran,” Noldane spoke the words with near reverence, “You have saved me from my own self-destructive path, and I cannot thank you enough for this.” He scanned the crowd, “We do need to get them out of here and as much as even I hate to admit it, we need to go to Ser.”  

With a nod, Bran called out. “You heard the High Justicar, we march north.” 

“And captain,” Noldane added before Bran could get any further. 

Bran’s expression was confusion before realization washed over his veteran face.  

“We will get these people to safety. Ser might not be our greatest ally, but if anyone weathered Kor’s storm, they will have,” Noldane admitted.  

With a nod, Bran turned back and began organizing the guards into escort positions for the coming refugee procession.  

Their people would live on. Perhaps Kor would not meet justice this day, but the countdown had begun.  

Final Approach Student Interest

Cyberpunk Column

John Mills
Diversions Editor 

My favorite sci-fi author, and likely my favorite author of all time, is John Scalzi. Scalzi is the owner, operator, author of one of the oldest blogs on the internet, “Whatever.” Now, why bother mentioning this seemingly inane bit of trivia? Well, the powers that be (i.e., the editors) saw fit to let me write a column. Well, they saw fit to let me try writing one this issue. I suspect I will disappoint in spectacular fashion, but in the spirit of Scalzi’s twenty-year-long exercise in writing about whatever he feels like, I present to you my own opinions on things. This issue, cyberpunk. 

Now I realize that that was a bit of a hard cut, something akin to throwing the hand brake while in fifth gear. What goes into cyberpunk? Cyberpunk is something I’ve wanted to write about for a while, as it stands as one of my favorite genres in fiction. Here are a few key aspects of the genre that I find most defining. 

The first is advanced technology, usually with an emphasis on electronics, usually in both the industrial and consumer sectors. Think of yet to come phones or other personal electronic devices, implanted electronics, more advanced and connected internet. Despite whatever particulars may vary between settings, a massive increase in the usage and massive decrease in physical size of computers is a staple of the setting. Its worth noting human augmentation often dovetails in with this theme.  

Second is color. Most cyberpunk seems to believe the future will be lit up in frankly blinding levels of neon. If this is the future that awaits us, frankly I can’t wait. The more neon the better in my humble opinion. “The Matrix” movies are a notable exception to this trait, but it’s common enough in most other representations of the genre to be worth noting. A future without neon is not a future I want to live in. 

Coming in third is a two-pronged subject: the rise of mega-corporations and the stark increase in income inequality. The inspiration behind these themes is pretty easy to see today. Large corporations like GE, Wal-Mart and dozens of other massive conglomerates seems to control excessive amounts of power and influence due in large part to their brain-meltingly massive revenue. Meanwhile, the majority of their employees may not even get paid a living wage. 

Fourth and last is heavy Asian influence. I have to confess I don’t actually know who started this trend, but it’s very prevalent in the genre. I’m going to hazard a guess and say the original “Ghost in the Shell” movie played a large part in the trend.

Additional examples include 1982’s “Blade Runner” to 2011’s “Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” or obviously, this year’s live action remake of “Ghost in the Shell.” I suspect the extreme urban development seen in Japan, China, and other countries like Singapore in the last two decades mirrors the physical setting of many dystopian futures that cyberpunk seeks to convey.  

Why do I love cyberpunk? Ignoring my undefendable love of neon, I like the idea the downtrodden making a life for themselves in a system that would happily forget they exist. The drive shown by these characters is an inspiration I think we can all take something from, even if we don’t have a computer stapled to our skulls. 

Final Approach Opinions Opinions Student Interest

Restaurant Review: Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More

By: Reece Cabanas

Prescott, Arizona is not exactly known for its ethnic cuisine when compared to major metropolis areas such as Los Angeles or San Francisco. However, positioned on the corner of a small shopping center is a family-owned and operated business that brings the tastes of Hawaiian-American cuisine to this former Wild West town.

Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More opened just over a year ago, establishing a location between Iron Springs and Willow Creek Roads in the Willow Creek Village shopping center. The drive from campus is approximately eleven minutes, making for a quick go-to for lunch between classes or a light dinner option.

Hawaiian food has been transformed by a variety of ethnic backgrounds which have, at some point, had a heavy influence on the Hawaiian Islands and their people. Some of the more notable influences come from China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Portugal. Local food became a mix of these different cuisines and the traditional plate lunch was soon turned into the fusion cuisine now familiar to the world.

So, what is on the menu?

Starting with appetizers, there are a few items to choose from. There is the Filipino lumpia, a spring roll filled with pork and vegetables, and Japanese Gyoza, a pan-fried pot sticker. Most notable is the regular and deep-fried Spam Musubi which consists of rice formed in a rectangular fashion, a slice of canned spam, and seaweed to wrap everything together.

There are numerous options available for the main entrée. Order a bento box for on the go, or sit down and enjoy the local favorites in house. The list includes chicken katsu, teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, fried noodles, fried rice, or seared salmon or tuna.

Also offered is what is known as a poke bowl. This consists of green onion, Japanese seaweed, raw fish, and rice, combined with other ingredients to the customer’s liking.

Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More would not be able to live up to its name if ramen was not on the menu. Customers can choose from a wide variety of options such as broth, flavor, noodle type, and toppings to create a satisfying blend of aroma and taste. A fair warning, however: eating an entire bowl of ramen can be extremely filling, so be careful not to overdo it on the side dishes.

Finally, top off any meal with Japanese mochi ice cream or a Boba drink from one of twenty-five flavors. If you happen to come on a Friday night, there is also live entertainment to sit back, relax, and enjoy.

In conclusion, along with the friendly staff and reasonable wait times on orders, Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More is a light-hearted place to indulge in Hawaiian fusion cuisine. While some of the prices may be slightly daunting for the average college student, the atmosphere and food quality is well worth the trade-off.


Diversions Reviews Student Interest