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Air Force Aviators Set Eyes on Underrepresented Areas in Alaska

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Quatasia Carter
  • JBER Public Affairs

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – Air Force Aviation Inspiration and Mentors (AIM) and a sponsoring AIM wing visited youth at Johnson Youth Center in Juneau, Alaska, Sept. 5 to 7 during an Alaska-based recruiting zone blitz.
To inspire youth and increase the future diversity of the Air Force, Air Force Recruiting Service, Detachment 1 engaged in a number of interactions with Juneau's youth throughout the outreach campaign.

The AIM wing is a team composed of pilots, combat system officers, and air battle managers that serve as ambassadors focused on providing subject matter expertise on their Air Force journey while encouraging and inspiring future youth who could consider life in the U.S. Air Force and Space Force.
This program, created especially to reach isolated areas throughout the state, included a team of ambassadors getting a guided tour of Johnson Youth Center facilities and engaging with youth.
“It was an honor to see a community of individuals who truly care and work so hard to help youth who are in need,” said Master Sgt. Travis Ervine, an instructor for Air Force Special Operations.
Each ambassador shared their various Air Force stories and made the faculty aware of free flight opportunities such as Aim High Flight Academy.
The team visited a juvenile detention center to inspire at-risk youth to consider alternative life choices.

“Visiting the juvenile detention center felt deeper than inspiring people to fly,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jahvon Holmes, a pilot of the MQ-9 Reaper. “Talking to the kids there felt like we were inspiring them to have hope and to strive for better. It felt like we were a positive influence and role models who just all happened to be wearing flight suits.”
Questions between both the teens and the detention center facility operators opened an informative and inspiring conversation about overcoming hardships.

The AIM High Flight Academy is a three-week introductory flight academy designed for youth. The program is taught by certified flight instructors at various colleges and universities across the country. 

“Every child, no matter their background, deserves hope and that's what we were able to provide to the kids at Johnson Youth Center,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Katherine Woods, a diversity and inclusion program manager.  “Our mission in Det 1 is to inform, influence and inspire youth about reaching their potential and opening the aperture to what they can do. After talking with these students, one now wants to pursue aviation after speaking with us. While these children have had difficult and challenging paths in life, they are just as capable and extraordinary as the next. We want to provide opportunities for all, and we did just that.”

To engage with a recruiter in your area, download the AIM HIGH app or visit to learn more about the many opportunities of serving in the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard or U.S. Space Force.