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Military Family Night at National Flight Academy

Military Family Night at National Flight Academy

Story by Jason Bortz on 09/24/2019

With nerves of steel, 30 military families had the opportunity to attempt something few people have the chance to do fly a plane from an aircraft carrier.

The National Flight Academy (NFA) hosted the free Military Family Night Sept. 20 onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola.

The NFA was designed to address the serious concerns of declining science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills and standards in our country. The Academy’s mission is to inspire students who subsequently return to their parent schools and seek out the more challenging courses in STEM. The academy is an educational activity authorized but not endorsed or financially supported by the United States Navy.

“We hosted the Military Family Night to show our support for, and enhance our role, in the local community,” said Hannah Ritz, manager of administration, NFA.

Designed to resemble the interior of an aircraft carrier, the NFA includes a galley, ready rooms, navigational systems and a “hangar” of flight simulators. After a brief introduction, families were divided into “squadrons” and reported to their assigned ready rooms for a flight brief. From there, it was to the simulators and the opportunity to try and fly aircraft. Most of the flights resulted in crashes, but the thrill of flying energized the hangar.

“Our team at NFA is thrilled with how the event went,” said Ritz. “The highlight was the energy of the families; everyone seemed very excited and engaged in the activities and very happy to attend.”

In addition to the NFA, the event was also supported by the United Service Organization, Fleet and Family Support Center, Morale, Welfare and Recreation and other local organizations. For more information on the NFA including programs and events, call (850) 458-7836.

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