15:32 PM

IACE, CAP Cadets Share C-17 Ride

Capt. Jacob Bixler
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
Virginia Wing

Young visitors from six nations joined Middle East Region cadets on a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III flight, courtesy of the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing.

The passengers from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, South Korea and the United Kingdom were visiting the Middle East Region as part of the International Air Cadet Exchange. Local cadets from the Maryland and Virginia wings joined them on the flight out of Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base in Martinsburg.

In all, 49 cadets rode the C-17 to and from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. The pilots conducted two tactical assault landings there as part of their training before looping back around to Martinsburg.


Cadets were permitted to walk around the aircraft and also had a chance to sit briefly in the cockpit and chat with the pilots during the flight. A few also experienced takeoff and landing from the cockpit.

After landing, the group enjoyed lunch in the Shepherd Field dining facility while listening to Capt. David Groom, the base’s executive officer and one of the C-17’s pilots, share his experiences in the Air National Guard. The IACE and CAP cadets then spoke about their respective nations’ air or flight cadet program, and they found many similarities among their organizations.