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Air Force Junior ROTC Cadet Paris Thompson takes the stick during a flight over Iowa on July 20, 2023. Thompson, a student at Hamilton High School, Chandler, Ariz., was one of the cadets taking part in the Air Force JROTC Flight Academy private pilot certificate program at Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville, Iowa, over the summer. Started in 2017, with the first cadets buckling into cockpits in summer 2018, the eight-week program was launched as part of the Air Force Aircrew Task Force, formed in part to restore the nation’s youths’ interest in aviation careers and to increase diversity in aircrews, both military and civilian. (Courtesy photo)
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